Efficacy of Inhaled Essential Oil Use on Selected Symptoms Affecting Quality of Life in Patients With Cancer Receiving Infusion Therapies

Amber S. Williams

Jessica Dove

Julia E. Krock

Corinna M. Strauss

Shannon Panda

Loraine T. Sinnott

Amy E. Rettig

cancer, aromatherapy, essential oil, fatigue, nausea, anxiety
ONF 2022, 49(4), 349-358. DOI: 10.1188/22.ONF.349-358

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of inhaled ginger, German chamomile, and bergamot essential oil (EO) versus an odorless control oil on appetite, anxiety, fatigue, and nausea in individuals with cancer receiving IV therapy.

Sample & Setting: 248 adults with gastrointestinal, neuroendocrine, or skin cancer receiving IV therapy from an academic cancer center.

Rethods & Variables: Participants were randomized to EO or control oil groups. Participants rated their symptoms during a seven-day period using a Likert-type scale ranging from 0 (no symptoms) to 10 (worst symptoms ever).

Results: Symptom burden was low. More men than women completed the study. The majority of participants had gastrointestinal cancer, followed by skin and neuroendocrine cancer. Ginger EO produced statistically significant results for anxiety and fatigue.

Implications for Nursing: Most participants were men and had gastrointestinal cancer. The high number of zero scores for symptoms may indicate the success of current symptom management regimens. Improvements in anxiety and fatigue using ginger EO warrant further study for validation.

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