Aromatherapy for Preoperative Anxiety: A Pilot Study

J Perianesth Nurs. 2019 Apr;34(2):259-264. doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2018.05.007. Epub 2018 Sep 8.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of a lavender aromatherapy skin patch on anxiety and vital sign variability during the preoperative period in female patients scheduled for breast surgery.

Design: This observational pilot study used a one-group, pretest and post-test design.

Methods: Participants received an aromatherapy patch in addition to standard preoperative care. Anxiety levels were assessed with a 10-cm visual analog scale at baseline and then every 15 minutes after patch placement. Vital sign measurements were recorded at the same interval.

Findings: There was a statistically significant decrease (P = .03) in the anxiety visual analog scale measurements from baseline to final scores.

Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest the use of aromatherapy is beneficial in reducing anxiety experienced by females undergoing breast surgery. Further research is needed to address the experience of preoperative anxiety, aromatherapy use, and the challenges of managing preoperative anxiety.

Keywords: anxiety; aromatherapy; complementary therapy; preoperative.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Aromatherapy / methods*
  • Breast / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Young Adult