Aromatherapy and Stress in adolescents.

I cam across this study earlier today. It looks at stress in adolescents and took a group of 36 female adolescents and divided them into two groups as detailed in the abstract,

PurposeThis study was done to examine the effects of aromatherapy on stress and stress responses in adolescents.

MethodsA two-group cross-over design was used for this study. The experimental treatment was aroma essential oil inhalation and the placebo treatment was carrier oil inhalation using a necklace. The sample included 36 female high school students. Fisher’s exact test, t-test, and paired t-test using SPSS/WIN program were used to analyze the data.

ResultsStress levels were significantly lower when the students received the aroma treatment compared to when they received the placebo treatment. The stress responses except salivary IgA levels were significantly lower when the students received the aroma treatment.

ConclusionAroma inhalation could be a very effective stress management method for high school students. Therefore, it is recommended that this program be used in clinical practice as an effective nursing intervention for high school students.

My criticism of this study is that it says nothing about long term results. In the study a washout period of two weeks was used between changing the placebo and the treatment groups using bergamot essential oil and the fact that the treatment group after crossover showed significantly lower stress levels than the control group shows that results are not continued once treatment stops. It would be interesting to see a longer terms study to see if effectiveness continues.

Additionally to support my own practice it would be useful to have a study that added massage to the equation.