Aromatherapy: The Effect of Lavender on Anxiety and Sleep Quality in Patients Treated With Chemotherapy

Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2018 Apr 1;22(2):203-210. doi: 10.1188/18.CJON.203-210.


Background: A cancer diagnosis is a serious stressor that is associated with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and inability to fulfill daily routines. Many pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic options are available to help patients with cancer manage anxiety.

Objectives: This randomized, controlled trial examined the effects of lavender oil aromatherapy on anxiety and sleep quality in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods: 70 patients were randomly assigned to a lavender oil group, a tea tree oil group, and a control group with no oil. A patient identification form, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Pittsburgh Quality Sleep Index (PSQI) were used to measure anxiety and sleep quality before and after chemotherapy.

Findings: State anxiety before and after chemotherapy did not vary among groups. The authors compared trait anxiety values before and after chemotherapy and found a significant difference in the lavender group. In addition, a significant change in PSQI measurements before and after chemotherapy was observed.

Keywords: PSQI; STAI; anxiety; aromatherapy; chemotherapy; lavender; sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anxiety / drug therapy*
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Aromatherapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lavandula / chemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • lavender oil