A prospective randomized study of the effectiveness of aromatherapy for relief of postoperative nausea and vomiting.

J Perianesth Nurs. 2014 Feb;29(1):5-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2012.12.004.

Author Information: Hodge NS, McCarthy MS, Pierce RM.

INTRODUCTION: Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is a major concern for patients having surgery under general anesthesia as it causes subjective distress along with increased complications and delays in discharge from the hospital. Aromatherapy represents a complementary and alternative therapy for the management of PONV.

PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of aromatherapy versus an unscented inhalant in relieving PONV.

METHODS: One hundred twenty-one patients with postoperative nausea were randomized into a treatment group receiving an aromatic inhaler and a control group receiving a placebo inhaler to evaluate the effectiveness of aromatherapy.

FINDINGS: Initial and follow-up nausea assessment scores in both treatment and placebo groups decreased significantly (P < .01), and there was a significant difference between the two groups (P = .03). Perceived effectiveness of aromatherapy was significantly higher in the treatment group (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Aromatherapy was favorably received by most patients and represents an effective treatment option for postoperative nausea.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID: 24461277 DOI: 10.1016/j.jopan.2012.12.004