Aromatherapy: An Integrative Option for Symptom Management in Cancer Care
The purpose of this clinical trial is to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of aromatherapy in relief of commonly reported symptoms in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Aromatherapy is a noninvasive, minimal risk intervention that could potentially alleviate the severity of treatment-related symptoms. This study will evaluate the ability of four aromatherapy scents (ginger, lavender, orange, jojoba) to reduce the severity of seven chemotherapy-induced symptoms (nausea, vomiting, pain, anxiety/distress, fatigue, sleep difficulties, and lack of appetite). Jojoba oil is a " carrier oil" and will act as a placebo comparator in this study. Jojoba oil is present in small amount (1 drop) in the ginger, lavender, and orange aromatherapy inhalers. As part of the study, the participants will be asked to use an aromatherapy inhaler, which resembles a lipstick container, during three chemotherapy cycles. The participants will use the aromatherapy inhaler for 7 consecutive days. The investigators will ask the participants questions regarding demographics, clinical information, current severity of symptoms, and current methods of symptom management. There is a non-intervention baseline cycle during which subjects rate the severity of the seven different symptoms from 0 to 10 for seven consecutive days during their first chemotherapy study cycle. The next two study cycles are intervention cycles using the randomized aromatherapy. The participants will rate the severity of seven different symptoms from 0 to 10 each day the aromatherapy inhaler during each of the three chemotherapy cycles (i.e., 7 consecutive days during each chemotherapy cycle). At the end of the study, the participants will be asked about his/her satisfaction with the aromatherapy used during the study. All of these measurements will provide a better understanding of the effectiveness of aromatherapy for symptom management.