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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2002 Apr;17(4):305-8.

Lavender oil as a treatment for agitated behaviour in severe dementia: a placebo controlled study.

Author information

1
University of Southampton, School of Medicine, Community Clinical Sciences Research Division, Memory Assessment and Research Unit, Moorgreen Hospital, Southampton, UK. ch4@soton.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether aromatherapy with lavender oil is effective in the treatment of agitated behaviour in patients with severe dementia.

DESIGN:

A placebo controlled trial with blinded observer rater.

SETTING:

A long-stay psychogeriatric ward.

PATIENTS:

Fifteen patients meeting ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for severe dementia and suffering from agitated behaviour defined as a minimum score of three points on the Pittsburgh Agitation Scale (PAS).

INTERVENTION:

A 2% lavender oil aromatherapy stream was administered on the ward for a two hour period alternated with placebo (water) every other day for a total of ten treatment sessions.

ASSESSMENTS:

For each subject 10 total PAS scores were obtained. Five during treatment and five during placebo periods.

RESULTS:

Nine patients (60%) showed an improvement, five (33%) showed no change and one patient (7%) showed a worsening of agitated behaviour during aromatherapy compared with placebo. A comparison of the group median PAS scores during aromatherapy showed a significant improvement in agitated behaviour during aromatherapy compared with placebo (median PAS scores 3 c.f. 4; Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks test p = 0.016 (one-tailed)).

CONCLUSIONS:

Lavender oil administered in an aroma stream shows modest efficacy in the treatment of agitated behaviour in patients with severe dementia.

PMID:
11994882
DOI:
10.1002/gps.593
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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