The effects of Lavender and Chamomile essential oil inhalation
aromatherapy on depression, anxiety and stress in older community-
dwelling people: A randomized controlled trial
, Abbas Mardani
, Mohammad Hasan Basirinezhad
, Azam Hamidzadeh
Center for Health-Related Social and Behavioral Sciences Research, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
Nursing Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
Making Life Better, Mental health community support worker, Sydney, Australia
Received 24 October 2020
Revised 23 December 2020
Accepted 27 December 2020
Available online xxx
Background: Considering the prevalence of mental health problems in older adults, this study aims to investi-
gate the effect of inhalation aromatherapy using lavender and chamomile essential oils on depression, anxi-
ety, and stress of community-dwelling older people.
Methods: A three-armed, parallel, randomized, and controlled trial design was used in this study. 183 partici-
pants were enrolled and randomly assigned to three groups (n= 61): the lavender, chamomile, and control
groups. The participants in the experimental groups inhaled three drops of 1.5% lavender and chamomile
essential oils for 30 nights. The participants in the control group inhaled only distilled water in a similar fash-
ion. Data were collected using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress-Scale (DASS) at baseline, immediately after
the intervention, and one month after the intervention. Chi-square, Fisher’s exact, one-way ANOVA, and
repeated measures ANOVA were used for data analysis.
Results: Statistically signiﬁcant improvement occurred in depression, anxiety, and stress levels immediately and
one month after the intervention in lavender and chamomile groups compared to the control group (p<0.01).
Conclusion: Inhalation aromatherapy with both lavender and chamomile essential oils helped decrease
depression, anxiety, and stress levels in community-dwelling older adults.
© 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Population aging is considered a global matter that is becoming
It is estimated that the aging portion of the world’s
population will nearly double from about 12% to 22% between 2015 and
The increase in aging populations brings many challenges to
For instance, mental or neurological disorders impact
more than 20% of adults aged 60 years old and over.
There is numerous
evidence of increasing morbidity, hospitalization, mortality, and func-
tional disability related to mental disorders in these populations.
Late-life depression is a crucial public health problem because of
its devastating consequences. It is related to an increased risk of mor-
bidity, suicide, and self-neglect, as well as reduced physical, cognitive
and social functioning.
Anxiety is another prevalent mental health
problem that impacts older adults and can have serious consequen-
ces on their quality of life and functional levels.
symptoms, daily stressors, or other lifetime traumatic events also
negatively impact the mental health and well-being of older adults
and often lead to other physical and mental illnesses.
chotropic medicines are prescribed widely to manage depression,
anxiety, and stress symptoms in elderly populations; however, these
medicines have limited effects, signiﬁcant side effects, and can be
costly, so they are not considered viable options by some health pro-
Therefore, nonpharmacological modalities have been sug-
gested to manage these problems.
Aromatherapy is one of the most prevalent complementary and
alternative medicine (CAM) practices that has grown substantially in
recent years to relieve mental health symptoms.
For thousands of
years, aromatherapy has been used as a form of herbal medicine in
countries such as Iran, Egypt, and India, in which essential oils inﬂu-
ence the connection between body and mind by interacting with the
Aromatherapy can be practiced in different ways,
* Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org (H. Ebrahimi), email@example.com
(A. Mardani), firstname.lastname@example.org (M.H. Basirinezhad),
email@example.com (A. Hamidzadeh), firstname.lastname@example.org (F. Eskandari).
1550-8307/© 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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