Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project


Impact: Investigation into the anxiolytic effects of lavender aromatherapy across several patient populations, application types, and outcome measures establish that lavender oil relieves anxiety, reduces mental stress, provides sedation, and promotes good sleep.

Background: Studies have investigated the link between age and the occurrence of undesired responses to premedication with agents of the benzodiazepine drug class. This link is explained by age-related pathophysiologic changes that occur as a function of aging. Despite numerous knowledge-based concerns, benzodiazepines prevail among the top psychotropic medications prescribed in elderly patients aged between 65 and 80 years.

Objective: This quality improvement project aims to enhance anesthesia providers' knowledge, beliefs, and attitude regarding the value of aromatherapy with lavender oil as an affordable, safe, and effective alternative to midazolam administration for preoperative anxiolysis in elderly surgical patients.

Methods: An extensive literature search was conducted to synthesize studies relevant to the PICO question and create an evidence-based educational module for virtual presentation. An anonymous online platform was used to distribute the project’s intervention and survey components to a sample of anesthesia providers working at a South Florida level-1 trauma center and to record and statistically analyze data.

Results: Collectively, the evidence-based literature presented by this project positively impacts the perioperative care of older adults, as it demonstrates lavender aromatherapy as a beneficial alternative to midazolam administration for improved management of preoperative anxiety in elderly surgical patients.

Discussion: Analysis of the pre-and post-survey results reveals that this quality improvement project met the objective of expanding anesthesia providers’ knowledge and understanding of the use of lavender oil aromatherapy to optimize preoperative anxiety and care outcomes in elderly surgical patients. As a result, they will be more competent and effective in helping elderly patient populations achieve relief from anxiety before surgery and improved perioperative care outcomes. The small sample size, short project duration, and online delivery platform were limitations of this project.