Effects of Aromatherapy Combined With Music Therapy on Anxiety, Stress, and Fundamental Nursing Skills in Nursing Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health








PURPOSE: Nursing students often experience anxiety and stress when taking exams that test their fundamental nursing skills. Complementary alternative methods, such as aromatherapy and music therapy, have effectively alleviated such negative emotions among nursing students. However, few studies have examined the effects of combined therapy interventions or compared the effects of different interventions. This study identified the individual and combined effects of aromatherapy and music therapy on test anxiety, state anxiety, stress, and fundamental nursing skills among nursing students in Korea. METHODS: A double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial design was used. The study was conducted at the nursing college at Sungshin Women's University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Ninety-eight sophomore female nursing students participated in the study. Subjects were randomly categorized under three groups: aromatherapy (n = 32), music therapy (n = 32), and aromatherapy combined with music therapy (n = 34). Aromatherapy was carried out through the inhalation method using an aroma lamp and three drops of Origanum majorana and Citrus sinensis. Music therapy was carried out using Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Twenty-minute interventions were performed in separate rooms before an exam was administered. Data were collected through self-report questionnaires, including demographics, test anxiety, state anxiety, and stress. Participants' Foley catheterization skill was likewise evaluated. RESULTS: Aromatherapy combined with music therapy had a significant effect on test anxiety (F = 4.29, p = 0.016), state anxiety (F = 4.77, p = 0.011), stress (F = 4.62, p = 0.012), and performance of fundamental nursing skills (F = 8.04, p = 0.001) compared with aromatherapy and music therapy as separate interventions. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that nursing education that includes aromatherapy combined with music therapy may be effective for improving the performance of fundamental nursing skills and reducing anxiety and stress among nursing students.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Questionnaires; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Stress; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Anxiety Disorders; Aromatherapy; Education, Nursing; Oils, Volatile; Seoul; Stress; Students, Nursing; Surveys and Questionnaires; anxiety; aromatherapy; nursing skills; nursing students

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods



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