Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-29-2017



Background and Objectives: Will aromatherapy make a difference on student cognitive test anxiety among fundamental nursing students? The purpose of this literature review was to assess the effect of aromatherapy as a teaching strategy to decrease test anxiety and improve student cognition and academic performance.

Methods: A pilot research study was conducted on eight fundamental nursing students, using a mixed method approach. Phenomenology looked at student perceptions while quantitative used a correlation randomized approach. For every test a pre and posttest anxiety questionnaire and pulse rate was collected. The students were exposed to aromatherapy treatment alternating with no aromatherapy treatment. Lemon and lime aromatherapy diffused for 15 minutes prior to the test. Then students were given a cotton ball with drops of the scent attached to their shirt for the duration of the test. For the no treatment test, (no intervention of aromatherapy) only an anxiety questionnaire and pulse rate were collected.

Results: The results indicated no significant improvement in academic test scores with the use of aromatherapy. However, a Cohen's d and the effect-size correlation on pre and post pulse rate were negative. Having a negative effect is significant because it is a strong indicator of influence.

Conclusion: At this time the quantitative findings of the pre and posttest anxiety questionnaires along with the pre and post academic test scores were not significant. Qualitative findings were significate, because of student’s positive perception of aromatherapy’s role in alleviating test anxiety.

Keywords: Aromatherapy, Anxiety, Test anxiety, Nursing students.

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Nursing Commons