Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of patchouli (Pogostemon cablin Benth.) inhalation by emergency nurses on their stress, compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, burnout, blood pressure, and heart rate. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Setting/location: University hospital in Incheon. Subjects: This study was performed from May to August 2018 after all subjects provided written informed consent. Fifty eligible emergency nurses were recruited and randomly allocated to inhale 5% patchouli oil in sweet almond oil (patchouli group, n = 25) or pure sweet almond oil (control group, n = 25). Interventions: Nurses in the patchouli group first inhaled patchouli oil at about 10 pm (the end of an afternoon shift) and inhaled patchouli oil a second time at about 10 pm on next day (24-h interval). Nurses in the control group inhaled pure sweet almond oil following the same schedule. Outcome measures: Outcome measured included blood pressure, heart rate, levels of stress, compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout. Results: Although there were no significant differences in blood pressure, heart rate, compassion fatigue, and burnout, levels of stress were significantly lower (0.06 – 0.48 vs. 1.19 – 1.19, p < 0.001) and compassion satisfaction significantly higher (0.56 – 2.50 vs. -2.84 – 2.43, p < 0.001) in the patchouli than in the control group. In addition, relative to baseline, compassion fatigue was significantly lower in the patchouli group (26.72 – 4.98 vs. 25.88 – 4.63, p = 0.016). Conclusions: Inhalation of patchouli oil effectively reduced the levels of stress and increased compassion satisfaction in emergency nurses, suggesting that patchouli oil inhalation may improve the professional quality of life of emergency nurses. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: KCT0004615.
- Compassion satisfaction
- Emergency nurses
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine