Lavender for needle insertion pain and restless leg syndrome severity in hemodialysis patients Original paper

In this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, there was weak evidence that aromatherapy with lavender oil could reduce the severity of both pain during catheter insertion and restless leg syndrome in participants undergoing hemodialysis.

This Study Summary was published on February 9, 2024.

Quick Summary

In this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, there was weak evidence that aromatherapy with lavender oil could reduce the severity of both pain during catheter insertion and restless leg syndrome in participants undergoing hemodialysis.

What was studied?

The effect of lavender aromatherapy on pain severity during catheter insertion, as well as the severity of restless leg syndrome (RLS), in the context of hemodialysis (HD).

Who was studied?

722 men and women (average ages of 50–60) who were undergoing HD.

How was it studied?

A meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials was performed. Seven of the included trials were conducted in Iran, and 4 trials were conducted in Turkey. Six trials with a total of 412 participants looked at pain severity during catheter insertion, and 5 trials with 310 participants total looked at the severity of RLS.

The type of lavender aromatherapy was massage in 5 of the trials, inhalation in 4 trials, and topical application in 2 trials. The comparators included no intervention, placebo (olive oil or sweet almond oil), and relaxation techniques.

What were the results?

In the overall analyses, aromatherapy with lavender oil reduced pain severity and RLS severity. However, in subgroup analyses for pain severity, the effect of lavender was not statistically significant when compared with placebo.

The risk of bias was low in 5 trials and high in 6 trials.

Anything else I need to know?

The findings should be considered preliminary due to the following:

  • Poor methodological quality of the majority of the trials included in the meta-analysis
  • The effect of lavender aromatherapy on pain severity not being statistically significant, compared with placebo

This Study Summary was published on February 9, 2024.