Use of Peppermint Oil to Promote Urination in Women Experiencing Postoperative Urinary Retention
Phillips, Shirley Anne
University of Kansas
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Urinary retention is a common postsurgical complication that places patients at risk for increased morbidity, prolonged recovery, and adverse surgical outcomes. Practicing nurses provide anecdotal support for peppermint oil use, however significant aspects for the administration, safety, and efficacy are uncertain or unknown. This comparative descriptive study investigated the use of peppermint oil as a nursing measure to stimulate voiding in women experiencing urinary retention during the first 12 hours after surgery. Guided by the Roy Adaptation Model, the Postoperative Urinary Retention Assessment (PURA) instrument was developed for data collection with a convenience sample of women (N = 73) in two hospital settings. Data from postoperative subjects (n = 48) were analyzed to describe contextual (age, fluid intake, medication use) and residual (type of surgery, type of anesthesia) stimuli, and responsiveness to intervention with peppermint oil. The Peppermint Oil Administration Protocol (POAP) served as the standard for the preparation and administration of peppermint oil. Four subjects (8%) developed postoperative urinary retention. Three subjects voided after intervention with peppermint oil, one did not. There were no adverse reactions to peppermint oil administration detected at either one of the two follow up assessments performed by the investigator, suggesting that peppermint oil was well tolerated by study subjects. No clear patter emerged from the comparisons of contextual (age, fluid intake, medication use) and residual (type of surgery, type of anesthesia) stimuli examined by the questions for research. Findings from this study provide limited support for the use of peppermint oil as a nursing intervention for acute urinary retention and point to the need for further examination of this clinical practice.
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