Aroma-oral care study in palliative care (part 6)

Conclusion

In the present study, aroma-oral care was performed on senior patients in palliative care and was found to improve mouth mucosa, foul breath, dry mouth, lining in the mouth and tongue colour. In addition, improvement was reported in mouth ulcers, pain and inflammation.

A patient’s choice of hydrolat used seemed to play a mentionable role in regards to more successful results. Nevertheless, 62% of patients liked the taste and smell of the original AWM. Medical staff reported better results and patient cooperation when a more individual approach is used regarding the choice of hydrolats applied.

Limitations of the present study include a low patient number, 2 methods of application as well as limited questionnaire due to unforeseen relevant information. In future studies, a greater number of patients may need to be evaluated for every method of application separately to clearly demonstrate the effect of aroma-oral care on senior patients in palliative care. Studies on patients with mouth ulcers, pain and inflammation need to be further explored as well.

Moreover, using hydrolats in oral hygiene has 0% negative results and/or contraindications and 100% satisfaction with the results.

The study results show that incorporating hydrolats in oral hygiene can help refresh oral mucous membrane, improve breath, taste and other aspects of oral care. This gentle and affordable addition to regular oral care has no negative side effects and provides a broad spectrum of potential benefits that should be further explored.

Melani Kovač
aromatherapist, educator

Acknowledgements

Andreja Stefan Bukovic, Ana Simenc, Darja Noc, Maja Krzisnik, Mojca Tuljak and Petra Jenko for their research and cooperation with this study. Stjepko Curin (PTO Curin), Jana Bergant (Histria Botanica) for donating hydrolats and Petra Sedej (Aromazen) for donating spray bottles. Maja Pecenic for her advice in the writing of this article.

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