The Effects of Essential Oil Massage on Patients Affected by Alzheimer's Disease: An Observational Study

Antonio Bonacaro, Ivan Rubbi, Carmela Triglia, Valeria Cremonini, Alessia Conti, Sharon Brownie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most widespread form of dementia. The present study analyses the effects of aromatherapy using Melissa Officinalis essential oil, applied by massage to the hands and forearms of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. and to evaluate the effect on their perceived overall quality of life. Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in two nursing homes in Italy in 2018. Data were collected through individual qualitative structured interviews based on the Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease (QoL-AD) questionnaire and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). The authors referred to STROBE guidelines for quality reporting of observational studies. Results: Treatment with Melissa Officinalis showed positive effects on all patients after the 12thweek of treatment. The results were most evident in patients in class 3 MMSE. However, class 4 MMSE patients also benefited from the treatment. Conclusion: The aromatherapy treatment delivered in this observational study, using Melissa Officinalis essential oil applied to hands and forearms, showed an improvement in the quality of life of the patients living in two different nursing homes. Due to the small sample size in this study, it is suggested that more research be done on the effects and effectiveness of aromatherapy with Melissa Officinalis essential oil for Alzheimer's disease patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-125
Number of pages10
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Aromatherapy
  • Essential Oil
  • Mental Status and Dementia Test
  • Quality Adjusted Life Years


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