Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Lisa Kiesel

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore how health professionals are using aromatherapy with children and adolescents who have exhibited or are diagnosed with the four most common mental illnesses. The four most common mental illnesses according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2013) are: ADHD as the highest mental health disorder; then behavioral or conduct problems; anxiety; and depression (part of mood disorders). This qualitative research study used an exploratory design by conducting in-depth semi-structured open-ended questions to four subjects. Themes were identified using content analysis. Subjects using aromatherapy with children and adolescents, use a mindfulness and empowerment approach. By encouraging clients to find what essential oil helps them regulate their symptoms and so they are be able to return to daily living. Several subjects gave examples of effective aromatherapy has been to their clients. There has been no adverse reaction from parents or guardians of the children and adolescents who are using aromatherapy as an intervention. The only identified barrier from the subjects was the cost of essential oils. There is a lack research in this area, and research that directly interviews children and adolescents. There are no current licensure requirements in the State of Minnesota to practice aromatherapy, and a minimum amount of training courses. Besides a need for regulations of practicing aromatherapy, there needs to be regulations on the quality of essential oils.

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