The effect of Aromatherapy Massage on pain levels in females suffering from Dysmenorrhea
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Background: Previous studies reported a prevalence of dysmenorrhea in women age 18-25 of 84%. There are few published examples examining the effect of self-applied aromatherapy massage with clary sage and sweet marjoram essential oils on pain levels in participants suffering from dysmenorrhea. Research Question: What is the effect of self-applied aromatherapy massage on pain intensity and quality of pain in females suffering from dysmenorrhea who manage their condition without medication? Methods: An experimental study with 4 participants primarily using quantitative data supported by qualitative. Participants applied oil with essential oil on their abdomen at baseline (period 1) and intervention (period 2). The short form of the McGill Pain questionnaire (SF-MPQ) including the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the Present Pain Index (PPI) were used to investigate the quality and intensity of pain in participants at baseline and before/after intervention. A short questionnaire at follow up was used to gather further qualitative data. Results: There was a general trend amongst the group in pain intensity findings towards a reduction in pain. General the pain showed a slight decline in heaviness, aching, sharpness and sickening character in the SF-MPQ scores. None of the participants experienced adverse effects from using the oil. Conclusion: This was a limited study, but findings suggest that the intervention could reduce period pain. However due to sample size and methodological limitations no conclusions about efficacy of aromatherapy massage can be made. Further research with a larger sample size and a control group is necessary to confirm findings of this study and eliminate bias.
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