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Br J Nurs. 2004 Oct 28-Nov 10;13(19):S4-12.

The analgesic effect of odour and music upon dressing change.

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Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Stirling, UK.


Vascular wounds may require frequent dressing changes over a long period of time, often involving pain, which may not be adequately controlled with conventional analgesia. Complementary analgesia may be beneficial as an adjunctive therapy. This pilot study presented eight patients with two odour therapies, lavender and lemon, two music therapies, relaxing and preferred music and a control condition, during vascular wound dressing changes. Although the therapies did not reduce the pain intensity during the dressing change there was a significant reduction in pain intensity for the lavender therapy and a reduction in pain intensity for the relaxing music therapy after the dressing change. This supports the use of these complementary therapies, which are inexpensive, easy to administer and have no known side effects, as adjunctive analgesia in this patient population. Earlier administration before dressing change may enhance these effects. Further research is required to ascertain why certain complementary therapies are more effective than others at relieving pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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