The effect of aromatherapy abdominal massage on alleviating menstrual pain in nursing students: a prospective randomized cross-over study.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013 ;2013:742421. Epub 2013 Apr 11. PMID: 23662151
Department of Maternity and Gynecology of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt.
Dysmenorrhea is a common cause of sickness absenteeism from both classes and work. This study investigated the effect of aromatherapy massage on a group of nursing students who are suffering of primary dysmenorrhea. A randomized blind clinical trial of crossover design was used. In the first treatment phase, group 1 (n = 48) received aromatherapy abdominal massage once daily for seven days prior to menstruation using the essential oils (cinnamon, clove, rose, and lavender in a base of almond oil). Group 2 (n = 47) received the same intervention but with placebo oil (almond oil). In the second treatment phase, the two groups switched to alternate regimen. Level and duration of pain and the amount of menstrual bleeding were evaluated at the baseline and after each treatment phase. During both treatment phases, the level and duration of menstrual pain and the amount of menstrual bleeding were significantly lower in the aromatherapy group than in the placebo group. These results suggests that aromatherapy is effective in alleviating menstrual pain, its duration and excessive menstrual bleeding. Aromatherapy can be provided as a nonpharmacological pain relief measure and as a part of nursing care given to girls suffering of dysmenorrhea, or excessive menstrual bleeding.