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The Efficacy of Aromatherapy in Palliative Care

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

We are honoured to feature a gentle, yet powerful thought-provoking article from Carol Rose in our winter issue. Carol is an amazing Clinical Aromatherapist & Educator with a professional background as registered general nurse who specialised in oncology & palliative care. Since moving to New Zealand, Carol runs her practice The Aromary, and focuses on people with progressive & life-limiting illnesses, and is the lead therapist at her local Hospice. Her article on ‘The efficacy of Aromatherapy in Palliative Care’ puts big questions onto our shared table, and comes with substantial suggestions for the future to find new ways in research and developments centres, as well as setting directions for re-framing our definitions of scientific measurements. You really have to read this article, as the two excerpts we have selected for your preview is just randomly picked as to our taste for now.

"Unquestionably, the richness of data retrieved from this qualitative approach provides invaluable insight into the patient’s experience of complementary therapy. The immediate benefit of respite from their dying process to provide hope for their future are experiences and outcomes that are impossible to capture through quantitative research methods. How can a person’s 'feeling of peace', or experience of 'floating away', 'altering time' or 'relief from suffering', be accurately measured? As yet, there are no quality-of-life measurement scales that are sufficiently sensitive and responsive to reflect all the aspects which patients with life-limiting illnesses consider important (McCaffrey et al., 2016). In truth, only the patient’s own words can accurately convey these outcomes."

"Aromatherapists are fundamental to clinical research teams evaluating the effectiveness of aromatherapy interventions. Our unique contribution rests with the specific knowledge of essential oils, botanical products and their appropriate application, including the use of the correct botanical names and species, which alone enables future researchers to successfully replicate studies and compare effects in other populations. Furthermore, our insight into the patient's holistic needs with life-limiting illnesses and the clinical experience of hosting therapy sessions with patients is paramount."

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