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Journal article Full text available online for free

On root/route: engaging nature as therapeutic partner through land praxis in residential child care contexts

Authors:
MOORE Shannon A., DUFFIN Kimberley
Journal article citation:
Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 19(1), 2020, Online only
Publisher:
Department of Social Work. University of Strathclyde.

Connection to land as a resource for resiliency and well-being is supported by evidenced-based literature for individuals across the life span. This paper invites the reader to imagine residential child and youth care as having a central connection to experiential nature-based therapies across rural and urban settings. To begin, this paper contextualises the notion of Land Praxis theoretically before exploring the application of nature-based therapies in residential care contexts. Drawing upon transdisciplinary and posthuman discourses, an emphasis on organic non-linear connections will be brought forward to inform the application of various experiential therapies in natural environments. As Canadian scholars and practitioners, the authors position themselves within the discourses informing this project while emphasizing the practical application of theory to practice. This standpoint is further informed by the understanding that young people living in residential care often demonstrate elevated mental health, educational, behavioural and social challenges. These realities are confounded by the current global climate crisis, which few now deny, and the increased anxiety associated with planet survival uncertainty. This paper presents an argument that more than ever returning to land-based experiences may be an antidote for the anxiety felt by many young people seeking agency over their uncertain futures. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article Full text available online for free

A pilot programme evaluation of social farming horticultural and occupational activities for older people in Italy

Authors:
GAGLIARDI Cristina, et al
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 27(1), 2019, pp.207-214.
Publisher:
Wiley

The aim of this study was to evaluate a 1‐year social farming programme conducted between 2014 and 2015, including horticultural and occupational activities on six agricultural farms for older people in good general health. Social farming is a practice that uses agricultural resources to provide health, social or educational services to vulnerable groups of people. Activity participation, social relationships, physical activity, and the quality of life of the participants were assessed using a pretest, posttest design. A total of 112 subjects were interviewed at baseline, though only 73 participants were retained through the end of the follow‐up, resulting in a dropout rate of 34%. Data analysis revealed significant improvements in both social relationships and overall occupational engagement at the end of the programme, with significant increases in the frequency of contact with friends or relatives as well as the number of activities performed by the participants. This work adds to the literature on the effects of social farming and indicates that farming may provide opportunities for older people to engage in activities that stimulate social behaviours. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Effect of horticultural therapy on wellbeing among dementia day care programme participants: a mixed-methods study

Authors:
HALL Jodi, et al
Journal article citation:
Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 17(5), 2018, p.611–620.
Publisher:
Sage

Fourteen people attending an adult day programme were recruited to a structured horticultural therapy programme which took place over 10 weeks. The effects were assessed using Dementia Care Mapping and questionnaires completed by family carers. High levels of wellbeing were observed while the participants were engaged in horticultural therapy, and these were sustained once the programme was completed. This study adds to the growing evidence on the benefits of horticultural therapy for people with dementia who have enjoyed gardening in the past. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Exposure to nature gardens has time-dependent associations with mood improvements for people with mid- and late-stage dementia

Authors:
WHITE Piran CL., et al
Journal article citation:
Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 17(5), 2018, pp.627-634.
Publisher:
Sage

Exposure to green space and nature has a potential role to play in the care of people with dementia, with possible benefits including improved mood and slower disease progression. In this observational study at a dementia care facility in the UK, we used carer-assessed measures to evaluate change in mood of residents with mid- to late-stage dementia following exposure to a nature garden. We found that exposure to nature was associated with a beneficial change in patient mood. There was a non-linear relationship between time spent outdoors and mood outcome. Improvements in patient mood were associated with relatively short duration exposures to nature, and no additional measureable increases in mood were found with exposures beyond 80–90 minutes duration. Whilst further investigation is required before causality can be determined, these results raise important questions for policy about the integration of outdoor space into the design of dementia care facilities and programmes. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book

Creating culturally appropriate outside spaces and experiences for people with dementia: using nature and outdoors in person-centred care

Authors:
MARSHALL Mary, GILLIARD Jane
Publisher:
Jessica Kingsley
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
168
Place of publication:
London

Demonstrating that it is essential to be sensitive to the cultural backgrounds of people with dementia in order to provide truly person-centred care, this book shows that it is possible to create culturally appropriate outdoor spaces and experiences that resonate with people with dementia on a fundamental level and are a source of comfort and wellbeing. Contributors drawn from a variety of backgrounds describe the significance of nature in the lives of people with dementia from diverse cultures, faiths, traditions and geographical locations, providing helpful insights into how access to the natural world may be achieved within different care settings. There are contributions from the UK (Scottish island, urban North East England and Norfolk farming communities), Canada, Norway, Japan, Australia, Sudan and South Africa, as well as a chapter on the specific difficulty of providing access to nature for people with dementia in hospitals. The voices of people with dementia and their carers are prominent throughout, and the book also contains evocative poetry and photographs of people with dementia enjoying nature and the outdoors in different contexts. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Feel better outside, feel better inside: ecotherapy for mental wellbeing, resilience and recovery

Author:
MIND
Publisher:
MIND
Publication year:
2013
Pagination:
48
Place of publication:
London

Mind makes the case for ecotherapy as a public health intervention and mental health treatment. Ecotherapy improves mental and physical health and wellbeing by supporting people to be active outdoors doing gardening, farming, food growing, exercise, art and craft, or environmental conservation work. This report sets out how ecotherapy can be used by health, social care and public health professionals to improve health and wellbeing. It aims to inform and make recommendations to health and wellbeing boards, directors of public health, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and directors of adult social care. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

An evaluation of a therapeutic garden's influence on the quality of life of aged care residents with dementia

Authors:
EDWARDS Christine Anne, McDONNELL Colin, MERL Helga
Journal article citation:
Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 12(4), 2013, pp.494-510.
Publisher:
Sage

To evaluate whether a therapeutic garden can improve the quality of life of aged care residents with dementia and their carers, objective instruments as well as interviews with residents, staff, and family members were employed. Residents' mean quality of life scores increased by just over 10%, mean depression scores decreased similarly and mean agitation scores decreased by almost half. Resident, staff and family member interviews elicited positive feedback including observations that it had improved the quality of life for residents and decreased staff and family stress levels. In sum, qualitative and quantitative pre and post findings indicate that an environmental change such as a therapeutic garden can improve the lives of aged care residents with dementia, and their formal and informal carers. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Primary-care based participatory rehabilitation: users’ views of a horticultural and arts project

Authors:
BARLEY Elizabeth A., ROBINSON Susan, SIKORSKI Jim
Journal article citation:
British Journal of General Practice, 62(595), February 2012, pp.88-89.
Publisher:
Royal College of General Practitioners

Sydenham Garden is a primary care based horticultural and arts rehabilitation project for people with significant mental or physical illness. The project comprises a garden, a nature reserve, and weekly arts groups. Users are referred to the project by local professionals, such as general practitioners. The aim of this study was to determine the views of the users on participation in the project. In-depth interviews were held with 16 participants. Thematic analysis of the transcripts revealed 6 themes: joining and motivations; improved wellbeing; relationships; ownership; being outdoors; and transferrable skills. The findings were overwhelmingly positive. On referral to the project, the users reported considerable need and social isolation. The project promoted wellbeing by providing purposeful and enjoyable activity and interest, improved mood and self-perceptions, and providing escape from life’s pressures. Many users developed transferable skills and gained nationally recognised qualifications. The opportunity for social contact was especially valued.

Journal article

The therapeutic benefits of horticulture in a mental health service

Authors:
PARKINSON Sue, LOWE Claire, VECSEY Therese
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(11), November 2011, pp.525-534.
Publisher:
Sage

The evidence for the acknowledge benefits of horticulture in mental health settings is primarily qualitative. This research was prompted by the UK national charity Thrive’s desire to produce the first quantitative research of this intervention. The investigators sought to determine those aspects of horticultural projects that conferred the greatest therapeutic benefit to clients. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to evaluate six horticultural projects. Outcome measures were used to rate the responses of the ten participants (8 male) interviewed. Four at a community allotment, three at a conservation scheme and three at hospital garden projects. Particular attention was paid to the participants' expressed motivation through the use of an adapted version of the Work Environment Impact Scale (WEIS).  Fifty participants, all at hospital garden projects, were assessed, using the Volitional Questionnaire (VQ) to observe and rate the extent of their motivation. The authors conclude that the therapeutic value of horticulture arose from a complex interplay of personal factors, including gender-based preferences, individual interests, social needs, and physical exercise. They note that the benefits of engaging in horticultural activity are not automatic; reservations include difficulties in socialising and group dynamics. It is suggested that the external environment provides challenges, which can be graded by the facilitators to maximise the therapeutic benefit.

Book Full text available online for free

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

Authors:
SEMPIK Joe, ALDRIDGE Jo
Publisher:
Loughborough University. Centre for Child and Family Research
Publication year:
2005
Pagination:
3p.
Place of publication:
Loughborough

This evidence paper summarises the findings of the third and final phase of the Growing Together study on the use of social therapeutic horticulture (STH) as a form of health and social care provision for vulnerable adults. In order to study the effects of participation in STH, 24 garden 'projects' were examined in depth. Interviews were recorded with 137 clients, 88 project staff and carers, and 11 health professionals. The findings show that STH is an effective form of social care which promotes social inclusion and well-being for people with a wide range of social, mental and physical problems.

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