Effects of aromatherapy on patient satisfaction with anesthesia during first trimester uterine aspiration: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial
Awarded 2021
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Leanne Free, MD
University of Colorado

We propose a single-site, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial of lavender aromatherapy versus placebo for patient satisfaction in adult women having a surgical abortion before 10 weeks and 0 days gestation. We will evaluate whether lavender aromatherapy is an effective adjunct therapy for patient satisfaction during first trimester surgical abortion. We will measure satisfaction using the Iowa Satisfaction with Anesthesia Scale (ISAS). We hypothesize that women receiving lavender aromatherapy will report higher satisfaction scores compared to women receiving placebo.

Prior studies have investigated the use of aromatherapy in laboring patients, in menstruating women, and in general post-operative populations. No investigations have focused on the use of lavender aromatherapy as an adjunct therapy to paracervical block and/or oral narcotics and anxiolytics in outpatient surgical abortion. Our study is novel in investigating patient satisfaction with first trimester surgical abortion using lavender aromatherapy.

The contribution of this proposed research to the literature is significant because current affordable anesthetic adjuncts to opioids and benzodiazepines are limited.