Introduction: Chemotherapy-induced nausea can be distressing and difficult to manage in children with cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of ginger aromatherapy in relieving chemotherapy-induced nausea in children with cancer.
Method: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 49 children with cancer explored whether inhalation of the aroma of essential oil of ginger during chemotherapy decreased nausea compared with a placebo (water) or control (Johnson's baby shampoo) measured by prechemotherapy and postchemotherapy assessment with the Pediatric Nausea Assessment Tool (PeNAT).
Results: While well received, well tolerated, nontoxic, and noninvasive, ginger aromatherapy did not significantly decrease nausea in patients enrolled in this study. Among 21 patients who indicated feeling nausea prechemotherapy, 67% reported improvement, 5% worsening, and 28% no change in their postinfusion PeNAT score. We failed to detect a statistical significant difference in the change in PeNAT scores among the three groups.
Keywords: aromatherapy; chemotherapy; nausea; pediatrics.