AROMATHERAPY AS A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENT WITH MELISSA Behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia are frequent and are a major management problem, especially for patients with severe cognitive impairment. Preliminary reports have indicated positive effects of aromatherapy using select essential oils, but there are no adequately powered placebo-controlled trials. A placebo-controlled trial was conducted at the Wolfson Research Centre, Newcastle General Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK to determine the value of aromatherapy with essential oil of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) for agitation in people with severe dementia.

The active treatment and/or placebo oil was combined with a base lotion and applied to patients' faces and arms twice a day by caregiving staff. Changes in clinically significant agitation (Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory [CMAI]) and quality of life indices (percentage of time spent socially withdrawn and percentage of time engaged in constructive activities, measured with Dementia Care Mapping) were compared between the 2 groups over a 4-week period of treatment.

The results showed that 60% of the active treatment group and 14% of the placebo-treated group experienced a 30% reduction of CMAI score, with an overall improvement in agitation of 35% in patients receiving Melissa balm essential oil and 11% in those treated with placebo. Quality of life indices also improved significantly more in people receiving essential balm oil.

Conclusion: The finding that aromatherapy with essential balm oil is a safe and effective treatment for clinically significant agitation in people with severe dementia, with additional benefits for key quality of life parameters, indicates the need for further controlled trials.

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    23-03-2022 12:03     Comments ( 0 )
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