Lavender, Research Updates|


Objectives: To evaluate the effects of diffused lavender on the frequency of behavioral issues [BIs], defined as a composite of restlessness/wandering [RW], agitation [AGT], anger [ANG], and anxiety [ANX] in an adult day care center. Secondary objectives evaluate systematic differences on the frequency of BIs between age cohorts, gender, and individual behaviors.
Design: Pre-post quasi-experimental study.
Setting: Private nonprofit adult day care center for patients with dementia.
Participants: Elderly patients older than 65 years of age with a clinical diagnosis of dementia, who require daytime monitoring.
Intervention: Lavender aromatherapy twice a day for 20 min during a two-month period during active clinic days.
Measurements: Behavioral issues were recorded using the behavior/intervention monthly flow record during the pre- and post-intervention periods.
Results: There was no significant difference on frequency of BIs between pre-intervention and post-intervention periods (p = .06). There was a significant difference between pre-intervention and post-intervention total number of AGT occurrences (129 vs. 25; p value < .01). There was no significant difference between age cohorts for computed difference of RW, ANG, and ANX issues. There was a significant difference between age cohorts for computed difference of AGT (p value = .04) as the 70–85 age cohort showed less agitation compared to the 85–100 age cohort.
Conclusion: The use of diffused lavender twice daily has shown to reduce the frequency of agitation in elderly patients with dementia, especially in the 70–85 age cohort. Though diffused lavender did not show statistical differences in the frequency of other behaviors (restlessness/wander, anger, anxiety), the study population may have been too small to find a difference.

Reference: Journal of Drug Assessment, Volume 6, 2017 – Issue 1, Robin Moorman Li, Brian Gilbert, Anna Orman, Petra Aldridge, Sue Leger-Krall, Clare Anderson & Juan Hincapie Castillo

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