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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Advisor

Dr. Nancy Reid

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this selective evidence based medicine (EBM) review is to determine if aromatherapy is a potential treatment option for labor pain.

Study Design: Review of four randomized control trials (RCTs), published in 2014, 2016, and 2017.

Data Sources: Four randomized controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals obtained using PubMed and Google Scholar.

Outcomes Measured: The Tanvisut et al, Hamdamian et al, and Namazi et al studies used the numerical rating scale (NRS) to assess pain intensity. The Yazdkhasti and Pirakstudy used the visual analog pain scale (VAS) to assess pain intensity.

Results: The studies conducted by Yazdkhasti and Pirak, Hamdamian et al, and Namazi et al, found that the severity of first stage labor pain (i.e., 3-10 cm dilatation) was statistically lower in patients receiving aromatherapy compared to the control groups. The study by Tanvisut et al found that the severity of labor pain from 3-7 cm dilatation was statistically lower in patients receiving aromatherapy compared to the control group, but not statistically lower in the late active phase of labor (i.e., 8-10 cm dilatation).

Conclusions: The results showed that aromatherapy is a convenient and effective therapeutic option for pain management during the first stage of labor in low-risk, nulliparous women. Further research should analyze if certain aromas have a superior analgesic effect, as well as if these results are consistent among multiparous women.

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