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Book Full text available online for free

Gardens and health: implications for policy and practice

Author:
BUCK David
Publisher:
King's Fund
Publication year:
2016
Pagination:
65
Place of publication:
London

This report looks at the impact of gardens and gardening on health and wellbeing, and explores what the NHS and the wider health and social care system can do to maximise this impact. Gardens are often thought of as intimate private spaces attached to private households but they can also be large private or formal gardens open to the public, or part of hospitals, care homes or hospices. Gardens serve many purposes: they can be cultivated for flowers or growing food; used as spaces for exercise, relaxation, solace and recovery; used as places to play, meet and volunteer; and can be part of wider environmental, planning or sustainability policies. The report brings together in one place and makes sense of the wide range of literature on gardens and wellbeing, demonstrating how gardens and gardening are related to health across the life-course, from schools to family life and into older age; demonstrates how gardening interventions have an important place in the NHS and wider health and care system, particularly given the focus on greater integration of health services, social care and prevention, and on working with people as citizens within communities rather than just as patients; and places ‘gardens and health’ within the current strategic health policy context, proposing recommendations on how gardening – if brought into the mainstream – can be an important mechanism for reaching health policy goals, nationally and locally. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Dementia green care handbook of therapeutic design and practice

Authors:
CHALFONT Garuth, WALKER Alex
Publisher:
Safehouse Books
Publication year:
2013
Pagination:
52
Place of publication:
Mesa, AZ

This handbook draws on insight from research and observations by the authors, with the aim of helping to develop outdoor environments for people with dementia as therapeutic spaces which have beneficial outcomes. The emphasis is on the environmental needs of people with dementia and distressed behaviour. This term is used instead of "challenging behaviour", because people become a challenge to others once they are distressed in themselves. The authors' aim is to keep the focus on a person's experience. Their approach is to consider the causes of distress by using nature as a therapeutic tool, rather than by trying to manage or change the behaviour solely through care practice indoors. The handbook is aimed at managers, owners and operators of care homes, nursing homes and day care facilities. It will also be helpful to landscape architects, architects, commissioners of services for older people and all those involved in the provision of dementia care services. It is one output of a design and research project called 'Therapeutic Dementia Care’ which was funded by the HIEC (Health, Innovation and Education Cluster) of the NHS in Central Lancashire. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book

Health, well-being and social inclusion: therapeutic horticulture in the UK

Authors:
SEMPIK Joe, ALDRIDGE Jo, BECKER Saul
Publisher:
Policy Press
Publication year:
2005
Pagination:
138p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
Bristol

Although there is growing interest among health and social care professionals in the social and therapeutic value of horticulture, there is little evidence that demonstrates the range of outcomes for vulnerable groups, including those with learning difficulties and mental health problems. This report addresses this gap in knowledge and presents the findings of the Growing Together project, the first detailed study of horticulture and gardening projects across the UK. Drawing on the results of a survey of over 800 projects, and in-depth case studies and interviews with vulnerable adults who use horticulture and gardening as a form of therapy, the report: describes and discusses the benefits to vulnerable adults of attending gardening and horticulture projects, provides demographic information about the distribution of projects in the UK and participation in these projects by vulnerable adults, analyses the processes involved in promoting and achieving health and well being outcomes using gardening, horticulture and related activities, makes policy and practice recommendations in respect of how best to promote social inclusion using social and therapeutic horticulture.

Journal article

Blue sky hospitals

Authors:
ALDRIDGE Jo, SEMPIK Joe
Journal article citation:
Openmind, 128, July 2004, pp.8-9.
Publisher:
MIND

Looks at the benefits of social and therapeutic horticulture projects for people with mental health problems. Taken from a forthcoming report from the Centre for Child and Family Research at Loughbourgh University in partnership with Thrive, the leading UK charity involved in supporting social and therapeutic horticulture.

Journal article

Enriching lives through horticulture

Author:
TWIGG Sue
Journal article citation:
A Life in the Day, 6(3), August 2002, pp.18-23.
Publisher:
Emerald

Describes the work of the organisation Thrive, which was set up in 1978 to promote and support the use of social and therapeutic horticulture.

Journal article Full text available online for free

The impact of care farms on quality of life, depression and anxiety among different population groups: a systematic review

Authors:
MURRAY Jenni, et al
Journal article citation:
Campbell Systematic Reviews, 15(4), 2019, p.e1061.
Publisher:
Wiley

Care farming (also called social farming) is the therapeutic use of agricultural and farming practices. Service users and communities supported through care farming include people with learning disabilities, mental and physical health problems, substance misuse, adult offenders, disaffected youth, socially isolated older people and the long term unemployed. Care farming is growing in popularity, especially around Europe. This review aimed to understand the impact of care farming on quality of life, depression and anxiety, on a range of service user groups. It also aimed to explore and explain the way in which care farming might work for different groups. By reviewing interview studies this study found that people valued, among other things, being in contact with each other, and feeling a sense of achievement, fulfilment and belonging. Some groups seemed to appreciate different things indicating that different groups may benefit in different ways but, it is unclear if this is due to a difference in the types of activities or the way in which people take different things from the same activity. This study found no evidence that care farms improved people's quality of life and some evidence that they might improve depression and anxiety. Larger studies involving single service user groups and fully validated outcome measures are needed to prove more conclusive evidence about the benefits of care farming. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article Full text available online for free

‘The nourishing soil of the soul’: the role of horticultural therapy in promoting well-being in community-dwelling people with dementia

Authors:
NOONE Sarah, et al
Journal article citation:
Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 16(7), 2017, pp.897-910.
Publisher:
Sage

Two-thirds of people with dementia reside in their own homes; however, support for community-dwelling people with dementia to continue to participate in everyday activities is often lacking, resulting in feelings of depression and isolation among people living with the condition. Engagement in outdoor activities such as gardening can potentially counteract these negative experiences by enabling people with dementia to interact with nature, helping to improve their physical and psychological well-being. Additionally, the collaborative nature of community gardening may encourage the development of a sense of community, thereby enhancing social integration. Despite increasing evidence supporting its therapeutic value for people with dementia in residential care, the benefits of horticultural therapy have yet to be transposed into a community setting. This paper will examine the theoretical support for the application of horticultural therapy in dementia care, before exploring the potential of horticultural therapy as a means of facilitating improved physical and psychological well-being and social integration for people living with dementia within the community. (Publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care

Author:
NATURAL ENGLAND
Publisher:
Natural England
Publication year:
2016
Pagination:
ix, 100
Place of publication:
Worcester

This study examines the benefits, commonality and outcomes of three green care approaches, to help raise awareness, understanding and value placed on these services by mental health commissioners, thereby helping to increase the number of projects commissioned. Although the three approaches of social and therapeutic horticulture (STH), care farming and environmental conservation as an intervention are contextually different, in practice the approaches often feature similar activities and have a similar ethos. The paper examines their scale across the UK and the current commissioning routes for green care to help inform potential new nature-based service providers. An estimated 8,400 people with mental health problems receive STH services per week and at least 5,865 service users on 173 care farms receive services for mental ill-health per week. Available anecdotal evidence suggests there is growing interest and demand for these services though overall referrals from clinical commissioning groups or from GPs for green care services remains patchy and relatively uncommon. As a consequence there is significant unused capacity across all three green care services. This research seeks to explore these issues and set out the steps required to enable a greater number of nature-based interventions to be commissioned in mental health care. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

The value of an allotment group for refugees

Authors:
BISHOP Ruth, PURCELL Elizabeth
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(6), 2013, pp.264-269.
Publisher:
Sage

This study explores the value of an allotment group for refugees of working age, aiming to explore the role of horticulture and the social environment on health, wellbeing and social inclusion. The exploratory study uses qualitative methodology based on ethnographic principles. Data collection included observation of the group, semi-structured interviews with five participants, with four of these participants also taking part in photo-elicitation interviews. Data analysis involved using a 'framework' approach to produce three themes and associated sub-themes. Analysis identified firstly gardening as a meaningful activity; secondly, the importance of the social environment and, lastly, the value of occupational engagement for refugees. Further theoretical analysis led to the conclusion that these themes linked to the dimensions of occupation: doing, being, belonging and becoming. The findings identify how occupational engagement can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of refugees, specifically with the use of social and therapeutic horticulture. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

A haven of greenspace

Author:
CHIUMENTO Anna
Journal article citation:
Young Minds Magazine, 118, Winter 2012, pp.32-34.
Publisher:
YoungMinds

This article describes an intervention in Liverpool, developed by academics and psychotherapists, that supports children and young people’s emotional well-being through therapeutic horticulture. A Haven of Greenspace model developed out of a secondary school pilot which reported improved peer social relationships, and highlighted the importance of a safe environment pupils considered their own in which to explore difficulties. This pilot was expanded into two primary and one secondary school in a deprived area of Liverpool, and targeted children between the ages of 10 to 15 years. The article describes the benefits and challenges of the project, and highlights the importance of early intervention strategies such as a Haven of Greenspace.

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