The effects of lavender scent on dental patient anxiety levels: cluster randomised-controlled trial
OBJECTIVES: To review the effect of lavender scent on anticipatory anxiety in dental participants. METHODS: In a cluster randomized-controlled trial, patients' (N = 340) anxiety was assessed while waiting for a scheduled dental appointment, either under the odor of lavender or with no odor. Current anxiety, assessed by the brief State Trait Anxiety Indicator (STAI-6), and generalized dental anxiety, assessed by the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were examined. RESULTS: Analyses of variance (anovas) showed that although both groups showed similar, moderate levels of generalized dental anxiety (MDAS F((1,338)) = 2.17, P > 0.05) the lavender group reported significantly lower current anxiety (STAI: F((1,338)) = 74.69, P < 0.001) than the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Although anxiety about future dental visits seems to be unaffected, lavender scent reduces state anxiety in dental patients.
Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2010 Feb;38(1):83-7. Epub 2009 Nov 23. Kritsidima M, Newton T, Asimakopoulou K. King's College London, Dental Institute, Denmark Hill, London, UK.
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