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What Is a Case Study?

When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.

Deep Dive into a Topic

At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.

As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.

Study a Pattern

One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.

Gather Evidence

During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.

Present Findings

As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.

Draw Conclusions

Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.


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Basic Aromatherapy Case Study

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Case Studies

Read about ascents®'s clinical aromatherapy research.

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Ingredients : Natural essential oils of lavender, orange, juniper berry, patchouli, and ylang-ylang

Nausea Relief Essential Oil Nasal Inhaler Tube | Aromatherapy for Nausea

Nausea Relief Essential Oil Nasal Inhaler Tube | Aromatherapy for Nausea

Ingredients : Natural oils of ginger, cardamom, spearmint and fennel

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Case Study - Remarkable Aromatherapy

by Lindsay Woodman (more info)

listed in aromatherapy , originally published in issue 152 - November 2008

Suzanne Fincaryk said..

I am just in awe of that. I will be taking the Wholistic Practitioners diploma in a month's time and I am even more excited to take this course than I was before. This is amazing. THANKS FOR SHARING!

Post Your Comments:

About  Lindsay Woodman

Lindsay Woodman BA Hons LLSA MIFA Reiki Master is a Holistic Aromatherapist having gained her Diploma, with honours, in 1996, and a member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists. She runs her own practice in North Wales and is a Reiki Master, which she incorporates into her aromatherapy. Lindsay is Founder and Principal of the Welsh School of Aromatherapy, which runs courses up to and beyond professional level, including Holistic Aromatherapy Diploma, Aromatouch course for carers, Reiki Attunements and correspondence courses. Lindsay may be contacted on Tel. 01766 890 500 ;   [email protected]


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Articles and Case Studies

We hope you will find the following links to articles and case histories a useful source of information. You acknowledge that such information has not been written or edited by the IFA or its representatives and may contain inaccuracies, outdated information or errors. The IFA is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained. The IFA do not accept responsibility for the contents of links provided and does not necessarily represent the views of the IFA. Links from the IFA to third-party sites does not constitute an endorsement by the IFA of the parties or their products and the IFA has not investigated any of the claims made on their websites.

Please also like our facebook page  where we post articles and blog posts daily to raise awareness of the benefits of aromatherapy. 

We encourage all aromatherapists to submit case studies so that we may build a bank of case histories to be used as a useful reference during campaigning activities and which we put forward before insurers, GP's and government bodies for wider recognition.  *For any questions relating to the contents of an article please contact the author directly. 

This page will be updated on a regular basis.

Aromatherapy and Ailments

Aromatherapy and Medical Conditions  

ADHD Aromatherapy and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) by Heather Godfrey (FIFA)

Blood Pressure Positive Health  The Effect of Aromatherapy Treatment on Raised Arterial Blood Pressure by Jolanta Basynet (MIFA)

Burns Case Study of Essential Oils Following Traumatic Burn Injury  

Cancer Cancer Radiation and Massage The Progression of Oncology Massage A vacation from Cancer Choice Health & Wellbeing Magazine Aromatherapy for People with Cancer by Joanna Hoare (MIFA)

Depression Choice Health and Wellbeing Magazine  Aromatherapy and Depression by Pamela Wilson (MIFA)

Eczema Case History of Infected Eczema Treated with Essential Oils

HIV​​​​​​​ A case study of the Complementary therapy provision in a London community clinic for people living with HIV/AIDS

Pain Management Choice Health and Wellbeing Magazine  Back Pain and Aromatherapy by Gill Farrer Halls (MIFA)​​​​​​​ Parkinsons Positive Health  Parkinson's Disease Project by Shirley Price (MIFA) Stress Massage World -  Stress and Aromatherapy by Colleen O' Flaherty-Hilder (MIFA) ​​​​​​​ Choice Health and Wellbeing Magazine  Aromatherapy Relieving Stress by Andrea Lawrence (MIFA)

Aromatherapy and Natural Progressions in the Body

Aromatherapy in different contexts/environments

Aromatherapy in the Media

BBC BBC News: Aromatherapy oils 'kill superbug' BBC: Blue tits embrace 'aromatherapy'  

Daily Mail Daily Mail: A-roar-matherapy: Zoo treats its pride of lions to the modern-day spa experience Daily Mail: Beauty treats to match your star sign Daily Mail: Britains got talent winner 'Pudsey' gets a dog massage Daily Mail: Cancer survivor: When aromatherapy guru Geraldine Howard was diagnosed with cancer, she resolved to use her skills to boost her own recovery   Daily Mail: Can TREES help cure your anxiety? (including Essential oils cedarwood, hiba and douglas fir ) Renowned professor reveals how to practice the Japanese art of 'forest bathing' to lower blood pressure and ease stress Daily Mail: Heal yourself - in the bath Daily Mail: History in your garden: Sweet violet (Viola odorata) Daily Mail: How massage is playing a vital role in hospitals Daily Mail: More essential oils Daily Mail: Oils to suit your skin type Daily Mail: The good essential oil guide Daily Mail: There are 64 ways to massage - which is right for you? Daily Mail: The secret of natural beauty: Essential oils that will keep you looking younger for longer Daily Mail: Treatment of the week: Aromatherapy massage is a scent of success Daily Mail:  Using Essential Oils Safely Daily Mail: Which is your essential oil? Daily Mail: Why a whiff of rosemary DOES help you remember: Sniffing the herb can increase memory by 75% Daily Mail: Why massage is good for your health   

Hello Magazine Hello Magazine: Aromatherapy during pregnancy Hello Magazine: Argan oil: Find out why celebrities love this liquid gold The Telegraph Telegraph: Aromatherapy really works Telegraph: How entrepreneur Geraldine Howard made aromatherapy an investor's dream Telegraph: How to enjoy a better night's sleep Telegraph: Scents that are here to stays that are here to stay Telegraph: Shakespeare Was Right: Rosemary Oil Boosts Memory Telegraph: Smell of jasmine 'as calming as valium' Telegraph: What will save the frankincense tree?

Other Diet Weight Lose: Kirstin (Dunst) loves aromatherapy and essential oils Medical News Today:  How to use rosemary oil for hair growth Mens Health Magazine: Why essential oils are a man’s best friend Natural News: Avocado oil is a key component in the fight against free-radical aging and cancer proliferation TV Show Super Nanny: How aromatherapy can help children and how it works

Avoiding Burnout

Psychology Today article:  Therapist Burnout - Preventing therapist burnout American Massage Therapy Association article: Putting Yourself on the Priority List

Conservation, Endangered Species and Sustainability Issues

Essential Oils (Individual Oils)

Essential Oil Odour

Essential Oil Quality/Purity

Market Information

Therapeutic Properties of Essential Oils

The Inspired Aromatherapist

The Inspired Aromatherapist

Inspired by Aromatherapy

Case Studies

aromatherapy case studies samples

Part of my study to become a qualified clinical aromatherapist includes carrying out 40 case studies/treatments totalling 60 hours in order to qualify for my diploma.

These case studies can focus on anything you think aromatherapy could help with. For example, sleep disturbances, eczema, anxiety, muscular aches and pains…the list is endless – if you think of something you’re not sure of, I’m happy to hear about it and have a chat.

If you would like to help me with my qualification I’ve made this case study form for you to fill out. There may be some questions on there that you wonder why I need to ask them. Hopefully I’ve explained them clearly, but if you do still have any questions about why I need to know these, please do reach out. The information you provide however forms a baseline for evaluating any future changes and developments in your case.

If I think I can provide something that can help, we can communicate over email, text, a phone call and/or have a face to face meeting.

If our treatment is successful and your symptoms are resolved but you would still like to carry on using what I’ve been providing, I can:

On the form there is also a few consent boxes to tick. Those too are pretty straightforward:

The other main points are pretty straight forward too.

So….if you’d like to ‘become a case study’ reach out to me via email, text or fill out my case study form as let’s get started!

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The School of Aromatic Studies

Peppermint and Nausea – A case study: End of Life Care

aromatherapy case studies samples

Peppermint essential oil was Marie’s oil of choice. Staff and family were instructed to put 3-4 drops of peppermint onto a tissue and tuck into the color or Marie’s gown to allow for inhalation of the essential oil as she requested. Bottle was left in Marie’s nightstand for quick access to use of the oil as Marie requested. Marie was informed she could ask for the oil on a tissue as needed for the nausea. Hospice team was also educated on Marie’s request for peppermint added to prescribed nausea medication.

Client Response/Results:

Marie frequently choose to have the peppermint on the tissue. Anytime I would stop in the room she would point to her tissue and put her hand to her nose signaling that she needed more peppermint. Needed frequent monitoring as she was not using the call light to request peppermint. Would wait until staff, family or her hospice team stopped in her room to request the peppermint.

Subsequent treatment:

No further treatment was required. Marie’s condition was terminal and very end stage. She died 2 months after admission. Family was very happy with Marie’s end of life care and the addition of the peppermint to complement her prescribed medication regime. Marie was able to rest and the nausea/throwing up was greatly reduced.

Improved quality of life during Marie’s final days at the nursing facility. She was able to stop keeping the basin next to her in bed with the combination nausea therapy of Zofran and peppermint.


I have frequently relied on peppermint essential oil in the past years for nausea and terminal restlessness at end of life. Have also used peppermint for fevers that occur at end of life and contribute to restlessness. Peppermint can reduce a fever in less than 15 minutes and almost instantly calm terminal restlessness. This has been a blessing to families who are sitting with their loved one and are stressed and many times frightened when watching the process of terminal restlessness. Peppermint appears to relax blood vessels. As the body is shutting down and blood vessels constrict, restlessness occurs. Peppermint relaxes these blood vessels and the individual almost instantly relaxes and rests comfortably. Has been a blessing and families are amazed at the quick response to peppermint essential oil. Reduction of fevers also promotes improved relaxation at end of life.

Peppermint on a tissue for inhalation is sufficient. Have also used peppermint as a foot massage, which helps with fever reduction and relaxation. Can also apply a drop to pulse points, across forehead by the hair line, at base of head, behind ears etc to help with relaxation and fever reduction. I typically avoid any hand massages with the peppermint. When restless it is best to avoid putting any essential oil on the hand in the event the person moving about should touch their eyes. Many are unaware of any safety issue at this point.

aromatherapy case studies samples

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Case Study Part #2

Case study #2 helping instructions for case studies.

by Lynne Jensen

Part of your course work is to complete five case studies. Each study will consist of four appointments and at the end of the course you will have a total of twenty reports. You can do this with your family, friends, self, or existing clientele. Use a new sheet for each person and adjust as needed. Make sure you fill out the health questionnaire before you begin.

This case study format is recommended by The International Society of Professional Aromatherapists (ISPA) and is taken directly from Aromatherapy World 1998, Spring Edition.

1. Client background and presenting problem. 

Please describe in order of importance. Client confidentiality must always be maintained. It is necessary that the permission of the client is requested and that the name is changed or an identifying number is allocated for submission to AAI.

In this section include year of birth, lifestyle, medical history, external appearance, and any information which is relevant to the client’s present problems. Note current medication if any, together with dosage and reason for medication.

2. State your aim for the outcome of treating this client

Be very specific and try to concentrate on only one concern. Usually the one that is bothering the client the most. The client may try to get you to treat several symptom, but at this point in your career it is best to keep it simple. Be very specific when stating the desired outcome of treatment.

3. Care Plan

Within the developed care plan must be suggestions for the client which include

1. Different routes into the body such as:    

2.  Length of time to be applied including number of daily doses

3. Client Response

Describe client’s immediate response to treatment.

4. Subsequent treatment or follow up

Each individual session should be described as indicated in #3. Include the client’s and your own observations of the outcome of the previous treatment, even if there appeared to be none. If the client did not have a positive response to the aromatherapy this is still useful information. Include frequency of application, e.g. He used it two times a day for a week when he stated (example) ‘I no longer have the pain’.

Describe the outcome of the course of treatment.

6. Discussion

Review the study and describe your conclusions. Would you replicate the same care plan, or are there things you should do differently given the outcome?  Describe any other observations or possibilities for further research.

Example of a case study

Sarah is a 40 year female. Recently, she has had severe pain in her left shoulder. Decades ago she hurt her shoulder when she picked up something very heavy and heard a popping noise in her shoulder. She saw the doctor at that time and he told her it would be stiff for the rest of her life as she had torn a tendon. After it initially healed, she was pain free for decades and no stiff shoulder. As she has gotten older she has occasionally felt some pain in the shoulder but nothing that brought about a change in her lifestyle. She recently visited the doctor because of the increase in pain and resulting loss of range of motion.The doctor told her she had bursitis and gave her some oral medication but she wants to try a different route to relieve the pain.

Goal of treatment:

Care Plan: Muscle ointment

Latin binomial                                Purpose                         Drops

Lavandula angustifolia [Lavender]     muscle pain, stiffness              30

Zingiber officinale   [Ginger]              muscle aches, pain                   17

Grape seed oil                                    Carrier oil                                 1oz

It was recommended to Sarah to apply the mixture of oils to the area of pain 2x’s a day, once in the morning and at night.

Client’s response:

Sarah stated that she didn’t feel much different when the oil was massaged into her shoulder but did enjoy the warmth. She stated that the oil was applied right before going to bed so she wasn’t aware of any changes in pain level before falling asleep.

Subsequent treatment and follow up:

I followed up with Sarah the next day and she stated she did not use the oil in the morning before going to work and that she planned on using the oils at night before bed. Sarah stated that her shoulder did feel better and that some of the pain was relieved. She also noticed some of her range of motion had returned.

Day 2 follow up:

Sarah was still only applying the oils at night before bed. Her shoulder pain has decreased to the point she can continue her exercise routine.

The results of Sarah using the oils were successful in reducing the pain and stiffness that she felt as a result of her old injury.


My conclusion is that I would replicate the same care plan. I felt this care plan was successful in helping Sarah and obtained the goal of reducing Sarah’s shoulder pain.

Disclaimer:This information is provided for educational purposes only, not to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition, or prescribe in any way. the data presented here may not be complete or fully accurate. As with all essential oils, do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner.

Safety Warning: If applying an essential oil to the skin, always perform a small patch test by properly diluting the oil in an appropriate carrier oil to an insensitive part of the body, such as inside of elbow. Use vegetable oil or milk to remove any essential oils causing irritation. Always keep essential oils and blends away from children. To slow oxidation and protect shelf life, store in a cool dark place with lids closed tightly secured. Never put oils in the ear canal or eyes.


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  1. What Is a Case Study?

    When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to lear...

  2. Why Are Case Studies Important?

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  3. What Are Some Examples of Case Studies?

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