Aromatherapy in patients with malignant brain tumours


Aromatherapy in patients with malignant brain tumours


Aromatherapy massage has been increasingly used in patients with cancer, particularly in palliative care settings. In 2001, a study was conducted by Hadfield to assess the effectiveness of aromatherapy massage in reducing anxiety in patients with a primary malignant brain tumour.

Eight patients who were attending their first follow-up appointment after radiotherapy were recruited to participate in the study. Three methods of data collection were used – physical parameters were measured, interviews were performed, and patients completing the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

The HADS results showed no benefit from aromatherapy massage to the participants; however, there was a significant reduction in all four physical parameters that were measured. This suggests that aromatherapy has an impact on the autonomic nervous system, which includes relaxation.

The statistics were supported by feedback given by the patients, who all stated that they felt relaxed after receiving aromatherapy massage. As the patients have limited treatment options and a poor prognosis, aromatherapy massage could be a good way of providing support to patients and improving their quality of life.


Hadfield, N., 2001. The role of aromatherapy massage in reducing anxiety in patients with malignant brain tumours. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 7(6), pp.279-285.



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