DNP Projects

Topical Aromatherapy: Increasing Staff Knowledge and Alleviating Anxiety in Patients With Cancer

Maggie B. Kruger

Susan P. Wittren

topical aromatherapy, anxiety, cancer, quality improvement
CJON 2023, 27(4), 375-379. DOI: 10.1188/23.CJON.375-379

Individuals with cancer experience high levels of anxiety. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to improve staff knowledge of topical aromatherapy and evaluate its impact on the level of anxiety experienced by patients with cancer. The efficacy of an education curriculum intervention to increase staff knowledge of topical aromatherapy was evaluated, and patients shared their experiences receiving a hand massage using essential oils prediluted with massage oil. Staff knowledge about topical aromatherapy increased postintervention. All patients who received a topical aromatherapy hand massage (N = 9) had a decrease of five or more points on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults™ Short Form Y-1 from pre- to postintervention. Patient responses also showed reduced pain and enhanced sleep.

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