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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Jun 12.

Effectiveness of aroma massage on advanced cancer patients with constipation: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, 2-10 Princess Margaret Hospital Road, Lai Chi Kok, Hong Kong, China.



The purpose of this study was to verify the effect of aroma massage on constipation in advanced cancer patients.


This study employed a randomized control group pre- and post test design and included an aroma massage group, plain massage group, and control group. To evaluate the effect of aromatherapy, the degree of constipation was measured using a constipation assessment scale, severity level of constipation and the frequency of bowel movements. Data was analyzed by repeated measures of Mann-Whitney U test, Wilcoxon signed ranks test, Spearman's rho and ANOVA using SPSS program.


The score of the constipation assessment scale of the aroma massage group was significantly lower than the control group. Apart from the improvement in bowel movements, the results showed significantly improved quality of life in physical and support domains of the aroma massage group.


The findings of this study suggest aroma massage can help to relieve constipation in patients with advanced cancer.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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