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      Effectiveness of aromatherapy for prevention or treatment of disease, medical or preclinical conditions, and injury: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis


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          Aromatherapy — the therapeutic use of essential oils from plants (flowers, herbs or trees) to treat ill health and promote physical, emotional and spiritual well-being — is one of the most widely used natural therapies reported by consumers in Western countries. The Australian Government Department of Health (via the National Health and Medical Research Council) has commissioned a suite of independent evidence evaluations to inform the 2019-20 Review of the Australian Government Rebate on Private Health Insurance for Natural Therapies. This protocol is for one of the evaluations: a systematic review that aims to examine the effectiveness of aromatherapy in preventing and/or treating injury, disease, medical conditions or preclinical conditions.


          Eligibility criteria: randomised trials comparing (1) aromatherapy (delivered by any mode) to no aromatherapy (inactive controls), (2) aromatherapy (delivered by massage) to massage alone or (3) aromatherapy to ‘gold standard’ treatments. Populations: any condition, pre-condition, injury or risk factor (excluding healthy participants without clearly identified risk factors). Outcomes: any for which aromatherapy is indicated.

          Searches: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), with a supplementary search of PubMed (covering a 6-month lag period for processing records in CENTRAL and records not indexed in MEDLINE), AMED and Emcare. No date, language or geographic limitations will be applied.

          Data and analysis: screening by two authors, independently (records indexed by Aromatherapy or Oils volatile or aromatherapy in title; all full text) or one author (remaining records) with second author until 80% agreement. Data extraction and risk of bias assessment (ROB 2.0) will be piloted by three authors, then completed by a single author and checked by a second. Comparisons will be based on broad outcome categories (e.g. pain, emotional functioning, sleep disruption) stratified by population subgroups (e.g. chronic pain conditions, cancer, dementia) as defined in the analytic framework for the review. Meta-analysis or other synthesis methods will be used to combine results across studies. GRADE methods will be used to assess certainty of evidence and summarise findings.


          Results of the systematic review will provide a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of evidence about the effectiveness of aromatherapy.

          Systematic review registration

          PROSPERO CRD42021268244

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13643-022-02015-1.

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          Research electronic data capture (REDCap)--a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support.

          Research electronic data capture (REDCap) is a novel workflow methodology and software solution designed for rapid development and deployment of electronic data capture tools to support clinical and translational research. We present: (1) a brief description of the REDCap metadata-driven software toolset; (2) detail concerning the capture and use of study-related metadata from scientific research teams; (3) measures of impact for REDCap; (4) details concerning a consortium network of domestic and international institutions collaborating on the project; and (5) strengths and limitations of the REDCap system. REDCap is currently supporting 286 translational research projects in a growing collaborative network including 27 active partner institutions.
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            The PRISMA 2020 statement: an updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews

            The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, published in 2009, was designed to help systematic reviewers transparently report why the review was done, what the authors did, and what they found. Over the past decade, advances in systematic review methodology and terminology have necessitated an update to the guideline. The PRISMA 2020 statement replaces the 2009 statement and includes new reporting guidance that reflects advances in methods to identify, select, appraise, and synthesise studies. The structure and presentation of the items have been modified to facilitate implementation. In this article, we present the PRISMA 2020 27-item checklist, an expanded checklist that details reporting recommendations for each item, the PRISMA 2020 abstract checklist, and the revised flow diagrams for original and updated reviews.
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              Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 statement

              Systematic reviews should build on a protocol that describes the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of the review; few reviews report whether a protocol exists. Detailed, well-described protocols can facilitate the understanding and appraisal of the review methods, as well as the detection of modifications to methods and selective reporting in completed reviews. We describe the development of a reporting guideline, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols 2015 (PRISMA-P 2015). PRISMA-P consists of a 17-item checklist intended to facilitate the preparation and reporting of a robust protocol for the systematic review. Funders and those commissioning reviews might consider mandating the use of the checklist to facilitate the submission of relevant protocol information in funding applications. Similarly, peer reviewers and editors can use the guidance to gauge the completeness and transparency of a systematic review protocol submitted for publication in a journal or other medium.

                Author and article information

                Syst Rev
                Syst Rev
                Systematic Reviews
                BioMed Central (London )
                26 July 2022
                26 July 2022
                : 11
                GRID grid.1002.3, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7857, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, , Monash University, ; 553 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004 Australia
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                Funded by: National Health and Medical Research Council
                Award ID: Official Order 2020-21P030
                Award ID: 1143429
                Award Recipient :
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Public health
                aromatherapy,essential oil therapy,volatile oils,natural therapies,complementary medicine,complementary and alternative medicine,cam,integrative medicine,massage,supportive therapy,systematic review,meta-analysis


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