The effect of lavender aromatherapy with and without music on the reactivity time of the non-stress test and basal fetal heart rate in primiparous women: A randomized clinical trial

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associate professor, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Reproductive Sciences and Technology Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant professor, Department of Public Health, School of Health, Larestan University of Medical Sciences, Larestan, Iran.

4 General Physician, Clinical Research Group, Barij Medicinal Plants Research Center, Kashan, Iran.


Introduction: The reactivity time of the non-stress test (NST) has been less investigated in the studies. The present study was performed with aim to investigate the effect of lavender aromatherapy with and without music on the reactivity time of NST and basal fetal heart rate in primiparous women.
Methods: This three-group randomized clinical trial study was conducted between 2020-2021 on 195 primiparous women who referred to the prenatal clinic of Shahid Akbar Abadi educational and medical center in Tehran. The participants were randomly allocated into three groups: lavender aromatherapy, lavender aromatherapy-music, and control (n=65 in each group). In the lavender aromatherapy group, four drops of 10% lavender essence was inhaled. In the lavender aromatherapy-music group, participants also listened to music (nature sounds). After the intervention, NST was performed in all three groups for 20 minutes. The reactivity time of the NST and the number of basal fetal heart rate were considered as primary outcomes. The data were analyzed by statistical software (version 16), and one-way analysis of variance, Tukey's post hoc, paired t-test, chi-square, and Fisher's exact tests. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The mean reactivity time of the NST in the two intervention groups: lavender aromatherapy (7.05±4.11 minutes) and the combination of lavender aromatherapy and music therapy (6.04±3.59 minutes) was lower than the control group (10.43±5.32 minutes). The NST results were reactive in 64 (98.5%) of the cases in each of the intervention groups and 52 (80%) in the control group (P<0.001). There was no significant statistical difference between the two intervention groups in reactivity time of the NST (p= 0.144). During the NST, the three groups did not have a statistically significant difference in the mean basal fetal heart (p= 0.729).
Conclusion: The combination of lavender aromatherapy and music did not have a more effect on shortening the reactivity time of the NST when compared to lavender oil use alone. Therefore, the use of lavender aromatherapy is suggested to reduce the reactivity time of the NST.


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