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The effects of aromatherapy in relieving symptoms related to job stress among nurses

Authors

  • Miao-Chuan Chen MS RN,

    Head Nurse
    1. Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
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  • Shu-Hui Fang MSE,

    Lecturer
    1. Language Education Center, Fooyin University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
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  • Li Fang MSN RN

    Assistant Professor, Doctoral student, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nursing, Meiho University, Neipu Shiang, Taiwan
    2. School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
    • Correspondence: Li Fang, Department of Nursing, Meiho University, 23 Pingguang Road, Neipu Shiang, Pingtung County 912, Taiwan. Email: fangli72@yahoo.edu.tw

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Abstract

Workplace-related stress has become today's most serious occupational hazard. Aromatherapy is a simple, convenient and non-invasive method of stress relief. There is little research regarding the efficacy of aromatherapy by means of inhaling essential oil in reducing workplace stress-related symptoms among nurses. Therefore, this study was to examine the effectiveness of lavender oil inhalation in reducing job stress-related symptoms among nurses. The 53 nurses in the experimental group pinned small bottles containing 3% lavender oil on the clothes of their right chests, whereas 57 participants in the control group pinned bottles with no lavender oil. Aromatherapy was shown to be effective in the reduction of the number of stress symptoms for 3 or 4 days. The stress symptoms of the experimental group decreased from 6.1 to 2.8 after aromatherapy was carried out (P = 0.126, 0.159, 0.035 and 0.026). This represented a significant decrease in stress, whereas the stress symptoms in the control group increased from 5.6 to 5.8. Hospital staff managers are still encouraged to include aromatherapy concepts and techniques in the continuing education of nursing staff. Concurrently, future research should focus on the possible side effects of aromatherapy to assure safety.

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