The effect of lavender essential oil on anxiety level in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery: A double-blinded randomized clinical trial

Zahra Seifi, Ali Beikmoradi, Khodayar Oshvandi, Jalal Poorolajal, Malihe Araghchian, Reza Safiaryan



Background: Open heart surgery can cause high levels of anxiety in patients. Nowadays, lavender essential oil is widely used in medical research. This study was conducted with an aim to investigate the effects of lavender essential oil to reduce the anxiety of patients after coronary artery bypass surgery.

Materials and Methods: This research is double-blinded randomized controlled trial on 60 patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery in a 2-day intervention targeting reduction of anxiety. This study was conducted in Ekbatan Therapeutic and Educational Center, Hamadan city, Iran, in 2013. The patients in the inhalation aromatherapy group inhaled two drops of 2% lavender essential oil and those in the control group inhaled two drops of distilled water as placebo for 20 min on the 2nd and 3rd days after surgery. The level of anxiety was evaluated by Spielberger’s State Anxiety questionnaire before and after intervention and the vital signs were documented as well. Data were analyzed using Stata 11 (Stata Corp., College Station, TX, USA) by independent t-test for continuous variables and Chi-square test for categorical variables.

Results: The mean score of anxiety in the aromatherapy group was 48.73 ± 5.08 and in the control group was 48 ± 6.98 before the intervention (P = 0.64), which reduced after the intervention to 42.6 ± 5.44 and 42.73 ± 7.30, respectively. On the 3rd day after surgery, the mean score of anxiety in the aromatherapy group was 46.76 ± 4.07 and in the control group was 46.53 ± 7.05 before the intervention, which reduced to 41.33 ± 3.65 and 41.56 ± 6.18, respectively, after the intervention. However, there was no statistically significant difference in the mean scores of anxiety between the aromatherapy and control groups.

Conclusions: Lavender essential oil has no significant effect on anxiety in patients after coronary artery bypass surgery, although it decreased the level of anxiety in the patients.

Key words: Anxiety, aromatherapy, coronary artery bypass, Iran, plant medical

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