The effects of preoperative aromatherapy massage on anxiety and sleep quality of colorectal surgery patients: A randomized controlled study

Complement Ther Med. 2018 Feb;36:93-99. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.12.002. Epub 2017 Dec 6.


Aims: To examine the effects of aromatherapy massage on anxiety and sleep quality in patients undergoing colorectal surgery in the preoperative period.

Background: In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of studies conducted on aromatherapy massage. It is stated that studies conducted on aromatherapy massage for anxiety and sleep quality reveal contradictory results and that more research is required on the issue.

Design: A randomized controlled trial.

Methods: Eighty patients undergoing colorectal surgery were randomly assigned to experimental and control group. To the experimental group (n = 40), aromatherapy massage was applied in accordance with the "Back Massage Guide" using 5% lavender oil (Lavandula Hybrida) for ten minutes before surgery and the morning of surgery. The control group received standard nursing care in compliance with the hospital procedure. Data were obtained by the State Anxiety Inventory (SAI) and Richard-Campbell Sleep Questionnaire (RCSQ). Results were analyzed using the t-test, Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test.

Results: There was no baseline difference between the groups. A statistically significant difference was found between the experimental and control group in terms of the SAI and RCSQ mean scores recorded on the morning of surgery. It was determined that the SAI and RCSQ mean score of the experimental group after aromatherapy massage on the morning of surgery decreased when compared to that of the evening before surgery.

Conclusions: It was found that aromatherapy massage with lavender oil increased the sleep quality and reduced the level of anxiety in patients with colorectal surgery in the preoperative period.

Keywords: Anxiety; Aromatherapy massage; Colorectal surgery; Sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Aromatherapy*
  • Colorectal Surgery / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Massage*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil