The results of a crossover placebo-controlled study of the effect of lavender oil on behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia

Svetlana Zalomonson, Tamar Freud, Boris Punchik, Tali Samson, Svetlana Lebedinsky, Yan Press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Studies of the effect of aromatherapy on patients with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) have yielded contradictory results. One possible explanation for this lack of consistent results is the site of application of the oil. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of lavender oil on the rate of BPSD when applied close to and away from the olfactory system. A crossover placebo-controlled study was conducted in the two psychogeriatric long term care departments. Patients in Department A received lavender oil on their face during the first month and on their foot in the second month, sunflower seed oil on their foot in the third month and on their face in the fourth month. Patients in Department B received sunflower seed oil on their face during the first month and on their foot in the second month, and lavender oil on their foot in the third month and on their face in the fourth month. Forty-two patients completed the study. Their mean age was 76.1 ± 11.2 years. After 4 months of treatment, the mean Neuropsychiatric Inventory score in Department A dropped from 13.1 ± 8.3 (median 12.0) to 3.5 ± 3.8 (median 2.0; p < 0.0001) and in Department B it dropped from 9.7 ± 9.6 (median 6.0) to 1.4 ± 2.5 (median 0; p < 0.0001). This reduction was not associated with the type of oil or the site of application. Based on these results, lavender oil has no advantage over sunflower seed oil in the reduction of BPSD, regardless of the place of application.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)246-253
    Number of pages8
    JournalRejuvenation Research
    Volume22
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019

    Keywords

    • BPSD
    • aromatherapy
    • dementia
    • lavender oil

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aging
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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