The effect of aromatherapy massage with music on the stress and anxiety levels of emergency nurses

Cathy Davis, Marie Cooke*, Kerri Holzhauser, Mark Jones, Julie Finucane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Emergency department staff are subject to significant stressors during their work. Recent studies have provided links between high levels of stress and sick leave. Nurses who work in emergency and intensive care units and new graduates suffer from high levels of stress. This research evaluated the use of aromatherapy massage and music as an intervention to decrease the occupational stress and anxiety levels of emergency nurses. Methods: The study used a one group pretest-posttest, quasi-experimental design with random assignment. The degree of perceived occupational stress was assessed pre and post 12 weeks of aromatherapy massage and music. Anxiety levels were measured pre and post each massage session. The number of sick leave was also measured. Results: The findings indicate that aromatherapy massage and music significantly reduced anxiety levels. Although occupational stress levels were high in relation to workload there was no significant difference following the 12-week period of the intervention. Discussion: The use of a simple and time effective on-site stress reduction strategy significantly reduced nurses' anxiety levels. Regular on-site aromatherapy massage with music has the potential to increase the job satisfaction of the staff and decrease the number of sick leave. Further research examining the result of regular on-site massage would be useful in determining long-term effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Emergency Nursing Journal
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


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