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Pain and sleep after open-heart surgery-inhalation peppermint essence: double-blind randomized clinical trial
  1. Mahla Maghami1,
  2. Mohammad-Sadegh Pour‑Abbasi2,
  3. Safoura Yadollahi1,
  4. Mahboobeh Maghami3,
  5. Ismail Azizi-fini1 and
  6. Mohammad-Reza Afazel1
  1. 1 Trauma Nursing Research Center‎, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
  2. 2 Cardiac Surgery Department, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
  3. 3 Biostatics and Epidemiology Department‎, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ismail Azizi-fini, Trauma Nursing Research Center‎, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran (the Islamic Republic of); azizifinies{at}


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the effect of inhaling peppermint essence on pain relief and sleep quality after open-heart surgery.

Methods In a double-blind randomised clinical trial carried out in Iran in 2020, 64 cardiac patients were selected by convenience sampling and randomly allocated to aromatherapy (n=32) and placebo (n=32) groups. The aromatherapy and control groups received inhaled aromatherapy using peppermint essence and distilled water, respectively. Data gathering tools were the Numeric Pain Rating Scale and St Mary’s Hospital Sleep Questionnaire. Data were analysed using an independent t-test, χ2 test, Mann–Whitney U test and generalised estimating equation analysis.

Results The mean severity of pain in the aromatherapy and placebo groups was 3.22±0.88 and 4.56±0.90, respectively, which was a statistically significant difference (p=0.0001). The mean sleep scores after the intervention on day 1 were 20.10±4.90 and 25.76±6.36 in the aromatherapy and placebo groups, respectively, and 18.63±5.56 and 22.62±5.69, respectively, on day 2. The difference between the two groups was statistically significantly different after the intervention in terms of sleep quality (p<0.05).

Conclusion Aromatherapy attenuated pain and improved sleep quality after open-heart surgery. Peppermint essence aromatherapy is therefore recommended after surgery.

  • pain
  • complementary therapy
  • supportive care

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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Data availability statement

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  • Contributors IA-F is responsible for the overall content as guarantor. Conceptualization: IA-F, M-RA, MM. Data curation: IA-F, MM, M-SP-A. Formal analysis: MM. Funding acquisition: IA-F, M-RA. Investigation: IA-F, SY, MM. Methodology: IA-F, M-RA. Project administration: M-RA. Resources: IA-F. Software: MM. Supervision: SY, IA-F. Validation: IA-F. Visualization: IA-F, M-RA. Writing - original draft: IA-F, M-RA. Writing - review and editing: IA-F, M-RA, M-SP-A.

  • Funding This study was funded by Kashan University of Medical Sciences (grant number 97123).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.