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Effect of Inhaled Lemon Essential Oil on Cognitive Test Anxiety Among Nursing Students

Johnson, Catherine E., PhD, CNE, AHN-BC, RN

doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000315

Nursing programs are stressful learning environments, and students are expected to maintain high academic performance to successfully graduate. Cognitive test anxiety has been minimally studied among nursing students, including how to successfully manage. The Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale (CTAS) was administered to 31 students before and after a high-stakes nursing examination. The intervention was inhaled lemon essential oil delivered via a personal nasal device. Neither the control nor the experimental group demonstrated a statistically significant change in the CTAS score from pretest to posttest (P = .19). More quantitative studies are warranted with undergraduate nursing students, the CTAS, and aromatherapy to reduce the burden of cognitive test anxiety.

Nursing Department, Westfield State University, Massachusetts.

Correspondence: Catherine E. Johnson, PhD, CNE, AHN-BC, RN, Nursing Department, Westfield State University, 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01085 (

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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