A Randomized Controlled Trial Provides Evidence to Support Aromatherapy to Minimize Anxiety in Women Undergoing Breast Biopsy.

Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2017 Oct;14(5):394-402. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12229. Epub 2017 Apr 10.

Author Information: Trambert R1, Kowalski MO2, Wu B3, Mehta N4, Friedman P5.Nurse Navigator, Rippel Breast Center, Morristown Medical Center (MMC), Morristown, NJ.Nurse Researcher, Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, NJ.Nurse Navigator, Rippel Breast Center, Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, NJ. Fellow, Body and Muscular Skeletal Imaging, George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC. Radiologist, Rippel Breast Center, Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, NJ.

BACKGROUND: Aromatherapy has been used to reduce anxiety in a variety of settings, but usefulness associated with breast biopsies has not been documented.

AIMS: This study was conducted in women undergoing image-guided breast biopsy. We explored the use of two different aromatherapy scents, compared to placebo, aimed at reducing anxiety with the intent of generating new knowledge.

METHODS: This was a randomized, placebo-controlled study of two different types of external aromatherapy tabs (lavender-sandalwood and orange-peppermint) compared with a matched placebo-control delivery system. Anxiety was self-reported before and after undergoing a breast biopsy using the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory Scale.

RESULTS AND FINDINGS: Eighty-seven women participated in this study. There was a statistically significant reduction in self-reported anxiety with the use of the lavender-sandalwood aromatherapy tab compared with the placebo group (p = .032). Aromatherapy tabs reduced anxiety during image-guided breast biopsy.

LINKING EVIDENCE TO ACTION: The completion of the biopsy provided some relief from anxiety in all groups. The use of aromatherapy tabs offers an evidence-based nursing intervention to improve adaptation and reduce anxiety for women undergoing breast biopsy. Lavender-sandalwood aromatherapy reduced anxiety and promoted adaptation more than orange-peppermint aromatherapy or placebo.

© 2017 Sigma Theta Tau International.

PMID: 28395396 DOI: 10.1111/wvn.12229