The Effect of Aromatherapy Massage on Knee Pain and Functional Status in Participants with Osteoarthritis

Pain Manag Nurs. 2019 Feb;20(1):62-69. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2017.12.001. Epub 2018 Mar 5.


This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of aromatherapy massage on knee pain and functional status in subjects with osteoarthritis. The study was designed as a non-randomized interventional study. The study was carried out on patients who referred to the outpatient clinics of the Department of Orthopedics, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation at Bozok University Research and Application Hospital, and were diagnosed with osteoarthritis. A total number of 95 patients were included in the study, and of those, 33 were allocated to aromatherapy massage group, 30 were allocated to conventional massage group, and 32 were allocated to the control group. The study data were collected using the Patient Identification Form, visual analogue scale, the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index. Repeated measures analysis of variance test was used to analyze the outcomes in the aromatherapy, conventional massage and control groups, according to the weeks of follow-up. Bonferroni test was used for further analysis. Baseline mean visual analogue scale score and the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index were not significantly different between the groups (p > .05). Visual analogue scale (rest-activity) scores and the scores in the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index in the aromatherapy massage group were lower, and the difference compared to the control group was statistically significant (p < .001). Aromatherapy massage performed in patients with osteoarthritis reduced knee pain scores, decreased morning stiffness, and improved physical functioning status. Thus, as long as specific training is provided for aromatherapy massage, aromatherapy can be recommended for routine use in physical therapy units, hospitals and homes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aromatherapy / methods
  • Aromatherapy / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee / physiology*
  • Knee / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Massage / methods
  • Massage / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Treatment Outcome