Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C
Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is aromatherapy effective in treating emotional instability in women undergoing surgical breast procedures?”
Study Design: Systematic review of one single-site, randomized study, one randomized control trial, and one randomized, placebo-controlled study, all English language, one published in 2016 and two published in 2017.
Data Sources: Studies were published in peer-reviewed journals and researched via the PubMed Database.
Outcomes Measured: All of the articles analyzed the effectiveness of aromatherapy in treating emotional instability in women undergoing surgical breast procedures. Improved emotional instability was measured via the Speilberger State Anxiety Inventory for Adults (STAI), the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire, or the STAI for Adults Self-Evaluation Questionnaire specifically Forms Y-1 and Y-2.
Results: Franco et al. found a statistically significant difference across all p-values in positive and negative attitudes before surgery in women using Lavender Fleur Oil and Unscented Oil. Tamaki et al. found that aromatherapy did not improve emotional functioning better than the comparison in women undergoing breast cancer surgery with only 81.4% of experimental patients showing improved emotional functioning as opposed to 76.5% of control patients, with a number needed to treat (NNT) of 21 and a p-value of 0.68. Trambert et al. found a statistically significant difference in anxiety in experimental patients using lavender aromatherapy as opposed to a placebo (p=0.032).
Conclusions: Due to the use of various patient questionnaires, the lack of blinding participants in one study, and the use of aromatherapy at different intervals during the perioperative time period, it is inconclusive whether or not aromatherapy is effective in treating anxiety in women undergoing surgical breast procedures.
Deem, Stephanie, "Is Aromatherapy Effective in Treating Emotional Instability in Women Undergoing Surgical Breast Procedures?" (2019). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 466.