Medical College of Wisconsin
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Pediatric healthcare professionals' perceptions, knowledge, and use of essential oils. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2021 Aug 08;45:101474



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OBJECTIVES: Complementary and Integrative Medicines (CIM) are widely used by adults and children. Despite this, studies have shown that Healthcare Professionals' (HCPs) views about CIM vary. Because underlying knowledge, perceptions and biases may influence HCPs' acceptance of a new aromatherapy program, the investigators sought to assess HCPs' views regarding aromatherapy before implementing an aromatherapy program in a pediatric hospital.

DESIGNS AND MEASURES: A convenience sample of HCPs at an academic pediatric hospital in the United States completed an investigator developed online questionnaire about their perceptions, knowledge, and use of essential oils.

RESULTS: The sample included 987 respondents, of which: 62.0% were nurses. Overall, 94.2% of HCPs indicated that they "rarely, never, or seldomly" discussed essential oil use with patients. Most indicated a willingness to incorporate essential oils into their patient care with appropriate education. Furthermore, 47.4% of HCPs reported positive views about the use of essential oils, 4.9% reported negative views and opinions, and 45% raised specific concerns about safety, education and/or evidence.

CONCLUSION: Overall, this study suggests that HCPs have limited knowledge regarding essential oils, are open to learning more about them, and would like more evidence specifically regarding the efficacy and safety of using essential oils in pediatrics. Additionally, most HCPs are not currently discussing essential oils with pediatric patients. However, they are open to incorporating them into their patients' care if they receive proper education, and are open to our organization implementing an aromatherapy program if appropriate education and safety measures are provided.

Author List

Michlig JR, Stelter AJ, Czarnecki ML, Norton A, Korom N, Hainsworth K


Keri Hainsworth PhD Associate Professor in the Anesthesiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin