Effect of massage therapy with lavender oil on severity of restless legs syndrome and quality of life in hemodialysis patients

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2022 May;54(3):304-314. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12738. Epub 2021 Nov 14.


Purpose: This study assessed the effects of massage therapy using 5% lavender oil on the severity of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and the quality of life (QoL) of patients on hemodialysis (HD).

Design and methods: This is a randomized placebo-controlled study with a pretest-posttest design. This study was conducted from January 30, 2019, to May 6, 2019, at HD centers in Turkey, and it includes 58 participants-31 study patients and 27 controls. Data were collected using patient identification form, RLS severity rating scale, Kidney Disease Quality of Life Scale (KDQOLTM -36) and patient follow-up charts. As per the massage therapy protocol, the patients in the study and control groups received massage therapy with lavender oil and baby oil, respectively.

Findings: RLS severity significantly decreased in all follow-up weeks in the study group and in the first, second, and third follow-up weeks in the control group. There were significant differences between the groups in terms of KDQOLTM -36 subscales and total scores at the initial and final follow-ups.

Conclusion: In HD patients, massage with lavender oil lessened the severity of RLS and improved the QoL. Accordingly, this therapy can be recommended to HD patients.

Clinical relevance: Massage therapy during HD sessions is easy, inexpensive, and patient-friendly with no side effects. It is known to reduce symptoms and enable the patients to easily perform daily activities of living. Massage therapy with lavender oil is effective and can be easily applied to patients with RLS by nurses.

Trial registration: This study was registered under the Clinical Trials protocol registration system (NCT04630470) upon completion.

Keywords: hemodialysis; lavender oil; massage; quality of life; restless leg syndrome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Massage
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects
  • Restless Legs Syndrome* / drug therapy


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04630470