Evaluation of results revealed that there was a statistically significant treatment effect in support of aroma oil therapy intervention on measures of anxiety, agitation and neuropsychiatric symptoms.
So what does this mean for the consumer?
The results of one small study do indicate that aroma oil therapy has some benefits in individuals with dementia. However, it is hard to draw conclusions because the study was short, the number of patients small and there were some methodological problems in evaluating the study.
Only a well-designed, randomized controlled study will determine if the effects of aroma oil therapy are real and beneficial in patients with dementia. In any case, the study did not reveal any major side effects from use of aromatic oils and there is little harm in trying these products.
No one really knows when one should start aromatic oils and for how long the treatment has to be continued in order to prevent or diminish symptoms of dementia. Until more data are available, consumers will have to make their own decisions on use of aromatic oils for dementia.