The Effect of Inhalation Aromatherapy on Patients with Cardiovascular Disease Seeking Pain Relief: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Background: Untreated cardiovascular disease (CVD) can commonly cause disability and morbidity and increase the mortality risk. Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis study aimed to investigate the pain-relieving effects of aromatherapy with medicinal plants on patients with cardiovascular diseases. Methods: This meta-analysis followed PRISMA guidelines. Several keywords were explored using an extensive search of databases, including PubMed, Web of Science (ISI), EMBASE, and Scopus, on May 15, 2022. In addition, an excel form was designed for recording the data of the RCT studies. Standardized mean difference (SMD) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to estimate the overall effect size. The Cochran Q test and the statistic I2 were used to evaluate the heterogeneity of studies. Lastly, Egger's and Begg's tests were used to assess potential publication bias. Results: We included studies examining the effect of inhalation aromatherapy on pain in patients with CVD after 5 minutes (five papers) and 15-30 minutes (six papers) of intervention. The results showed a significant decrease in pain in the intervention group compared to the control group after 5 minutes (SMD = -2.25, 95% CI = -3.21 to -1.29, P < 0.001) and after 15-30 minutes (SMD = -3.22, 95% CI = - 4.41 to -2.03, P < 0.001) of intervention in CVD patients. No publication bias was observed related to the association between inhalation aromatherapy and pain relief. Conclusion: In CVD patients, inhalation aromatherapy could significantly reduce pain severity and can be used as a complementary medicine for pain reduction.



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