15 Sep 2008, PR 187/08
A study by researchers at King’s College London has found that people exposed to lavender oil scent before having dental treatment were then less anxious about going to the dentist.
Metaxia Kritsidima, an MSc Dental Public Health graduate, working with Dr Koula Asimakopoulou Lecturer in Health Psychology, from the Dental Institute at King’s, presented their results at The British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology and European Health Psychology Society Conference at the University of Bath last week.
British Psychological Society press release
Metaxia Kritsidima explained: ‘A substantial number of people avoid going to dental surgeries because they are ‘scared of the dentist’, which can have a significant impact on their dental health. The anxiety experienced by these patients once they get to the dentist is stressful not only for them, but also for the dental team.
‘Working under a state of increased tension may potentially compromise their performance, as well as lengthening appointment times. This is why finding a way of reducing dental anxiety is really important.’
In this study, researchers investigated the effects of lavender scent on dental anxiety. The dental anxiety levels of 340 adult patients were measured while they waited for a scheduled dental appointment. Some patients were exposed to a lavender scent while the rest were not.
Patients who were exposed to the scent reported feeling less anxious than the control group. This significant effect was present regardless of the type of dental appointment (e.g. routine check up, drilling). However, the exposure to lavender had no effect on the patients’ anxiety regarding future dental procedures.
Metaxia Kritsidima concludes: ‘Our findings suggest that lavender could certainly be used as an effective ‘on-the-spot’ anxiety reduction in dentists’ waiting rooms.’
Dr Koula Asimakopoulou, comments: ‘This is a significant difference and it was present regardless of the type of dental appointment.’
More than 700 psychologists from the UK, Europe and further met at the University of Bath from 9 - 12 September 2008 for the joint European Health Psychology Society and British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology Conference 2008.
The conference, themed ‘Behaviour, Health and Healthcare: From Physiology to Policy’, will look at how psychology can be applied at individual and group level to promote health, and even prevent illness, at a national level.
而倫敦大學國王學院(King's College of London)的一組研究人員在經過340例臨床實驗後發現，熏衣草的香氣也可以起到為口腔病患者治療前安定精神的效果。
另一位參與實驗的科學家庫拉﹒阿希瑪科普魯博士(Dr Koula Asimakopoulou)也表示："無論病人來接受哪一種治療，聞到薰衣草香氣均起到比較顯著的放鬆作用。"