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To test the effectiveness of supplementing usual supportive care with aromatherapy massage in the management of anxiety and depression in cancer patients through a pragmatic two-arm randomized controlled trial in four United Kingdom cancer centers and a hospice.Two hundred eighty-eight cancer patients, referred to complementary therapy services with clinical anxiety and/or depression, were allocated randomly to a course of aromatherapy massage or usual supportive care alone.Patients who received aromatherapy massage had no significant improvement in clinical anxiety and/or depression compared with those receiving usual care at 10 weeks postrandomization (odds ratio [OR], 1.3; 95% CI, 0.9 to 1.7; P = .1), but did at 6 weeks postrandomization (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.9; P = .01). Patients receiving aromatherapy massage also described greater improvement in self-reported anxiety at both 6 and 10 weeks postrandomization (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 6.7; P = .04 and OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 6.6; P = .04), respectively.Aromatherapy massage does not appear to confer benefit on cancer patients' anxiety and/or depression in the long-term, but is associated with clinically important benefit up to 2 weeks after the intervention.

Original publication

DOI

10.1200/jco.2006.08.9987

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Publication Date

02/2007

Volume

25

Pages

532 - 539

Addresses

Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Unit, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Department of Mental Health Sciences, Cancer Research UK London Psychosocial Group, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.

Keywords

Humans, Neoplasms, Oils, Volatile, Treatment Outcome, Aromatherapy, Massage, Odds Ratio, Depression, Anxiety, Time Factors, Quality of Life, Middle Aged, Female, Male, United Kingdom