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Anxiety, Aromatherapy, Complementary therapies, Critical care, Guided imagery, Insomnia, Pain



  1. Meghani, Naheed MS, BSN, RN
  2. Tracy, Mary Fran PhD, RN, APRN, CNS, FAAN
  3. Hadidi, Niloufar Niakosari PhD, RN, APRN, CNS-BC, FAHA
  4. Lindquist, Ruth PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA


This review is part II of a 2-part series that presents evidence on the effectiveness of aromatherapy and guided imagery for the symptom management of anxiety, pain, and insomnia in adult critically ill patients. Evidence from this review supports the use of aromatherapy for management of pain, insomnia, and anxiety in critically ill patients. Evidence also supports the use of guided imagery for managing these symptoms in critical care; however, the evidence is sparse, mixed, and weak. More studies with larger samples and stronger designs are needed to further establish efficacy of guided imagery for the management of anxiety, pain, and insomnia of critically ill patients; to accomplish this, standardized evidence-based intervention protocols to ensure comparability and to establish optimal effectiveness are needed. Discussion and recommendations related to the use of these therapies in practice and needs for future research in these areas were generated.