Document Type : Research articles


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences (YUMS), Yasuj, IR Iran


Background: While the application of anti-pruritus medications may be useful for hemodialysis (HD) patients, they are at risk of drug toxicity because of their renal inability to eliminate drug metabolites.
Objectives: To examine the effect of the topical application of sweet almond oil on reducing uremic pruritus in HD patients.
Methods: This study is a randomized clinical trial research. The study population consisted of patients referred in 2013 to the HD ward of Shahid Beheshti hospital, which is affiliated with Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Iran. From a total of 60 patients, 42 that met the inclusion criteria were selected using a nonrandom sampling method; they were allocated to two groups through a random-allocation method. Sweet almond oil (with a traditional medicine certification and a registration number for the production license) was topically applied on the pruritus location(s) in the intervention group once daily over two weeks. The data were collected using a pruritic score questionnaire at one week and two weeks post-intervention. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, such as central tendency and dispersion indices, as well as statistical tests, including repeated measures ANOVA with a P-value significantly less than 0.05 and a confidence interval of 95%.
Results: Pre-intervention, there was no significant difference in the mean scores for the severity of pruritus between the test and control groups, but significant differences were observed between the two groups (P < 0.05) at one week and two weeks postintervention. The result of repeated measures ANOVA for within group comparison shows a significant difference in the mean of pruritus severity pre-intervention (19.63±11.67), one week post-intervention (12.22±11.33), and two weeks post-intervention (7.27± 5.74) (P < 0.05) in the test group.
Conclusions: In this study, topical application of sweet almond oil, which was not followed by any specific complications, was able to significantly reduce the uremic pruritus in hemodialysis patients; however, these findings require further studies.