To what extent does aromatherapy use in palliative cancer care improve quality of life and reduce levels of psychological distress? A literature review

Bowers, L.J. 2006. To what extent does aromatherapy use in palliative cancer care improve quality of life and reduce levels of psychological distress? A literature review. International Journal of Aromatherapy. 16 (1), pp. 27-35.

TitleTo what extent does aromatherapy use in palliative cancer care improve quality of life and reduce levels of psychological distress? A literature review
AuthorsBowers, L.J.
Abstract

Public and healthcare professionals’ interest in the use of aromatherapy to ease levels of psychological distress and improve the quality of life for cancer patients is greater than ever. Aromatherapy is increasingly incorporated into clinical practice, particularly in palliative care settings, and has been reported as the most commonly used complementary therapy within the NHS. Yet questions remain regarding the safety and efficacy of essential oil use and there are concerns around the evidence available to support actual benefits. Much of the evidence is anecdotal with a distinct lack of quantitative and objective data available, due to concerns about scientific research methods for complementary therapies. This article is a review of the literature relating to the safety and efficacy of aromatherapy use for cancer care, and will highlight methodological issues and implications for research. However, the primary aim is to provide cancer patients and their carers’ access to the body of information and research available, thereby enabling patient empowerment through choice and education.

JournalInternational Journal of Aromatherapy
Journal citation16 (1), pp. 27-35
ISSN0962-4562
Year2006
PublisherElsevier
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.ijat.2006.01.003
Publication dates
Published2006

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