There is much empirical evidence that exists to support the use of aromatherapy as an accompanying treatment for therapeutic outcomes. In our research study, “Mitigating stress with aromatherapy in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Dr. Greenberg and I are whether the use of lavender inhalation will have a notable influence in exonerating stress and restless behavior within a sample of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Anxiety and anxiety-related disorders are often concomitant with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The main goals of the study include:
- To provide this population with a non-pharmacological measure to help meliorate anxiety and stress
- To provide various disciplines caring for this population with a proactive-instead of reactive-intervention to de-escalate restlessness before a behavioral mediation is necessary
Nursing research and Evidence-based practice (EBP) allows nurses to use scientifically gained evidence for delivering quality health care to a specific population. This research project will help me practice research skills in preparation for advanced practice nursing. I will be responsible for conducting the literature review for best evidence on lavender and stress reduction with individuals (adults) with intellectual disability and writing a systematic review, finding the appropriate measurement scales on stress for the sample, reviewing the IRB application, preparing the study materials, and collecting and analyzing data. To date, Dr. Greenberg and I are currently analyzing scales-tools-measures and deciding on their appropriateness for our sample. When conducting the study, we may use both quantitative and qualitative measures.
Since I have both experience as an RN in working with individuals with intellectual disabilities and contacts in several agencies, I have also explored the feasibility of conducting the study in three agencies, all serving the population of interest. My next step insofar in agency outreach is to converse with key staff to ascertain the behavioral measures already in use in their facility that are used to measure anxiety, restlessness, and stress.
Once this step is accomplished, we will visit the agencies in order to plan the most appropriate study and data collection.