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Journal article

In touch with the earth

Authors:
SEMPIK Joe, ALDRIDGE Jo, BECKER Saul
Journal article citation:
Mental Health Today, September 2005, pp.23-26.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

This article reports on a study funded by the Big Lottery Fund and conducted by a team from Loughborough University in partnership with the charity Thrive, which aimed to explore the benefits for vulnerable people of organised gardening activities operating under the umbrella of social and therapeutic horticulture (STH).  A total of 24 of the 911 STH projects on Thrive's database were contacted for evaluation. Of the 24 projects, 13 included people with mental health problems in their client group. A total of 137 clients participated in the study, of these 49 had mental health problems. Twenty-four project leaders and managers also participated in the research, and 36 other paid staff. This article discusses the findings from the interviews in the areas of: nature, freedom and space; social networks; social inclusion; employment; physical activity and well-being; self-confidence and self esteem.

Journal article

The impact of an allotment group on mental health client's health, wellbeing and social networking

Author:
FIELDHOUSE Jon
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(7), July 2003, pp.286-296.
Publisher:
Sage

In this study clients attending a community mental health team horticultural allotment group described the importance that they attached to social contact in the group. This study aimed to develop an understanding of how this experience came about so that it could be harnessed more effectively. A qualitative approach was used to explore the subjective experience of meaning that had underpinned regular attendance by nine group members. Qualitative interviews and a focus group generated data, which were examined in the light of concepts drawn from the literature on therapeutic horticulture, social networking and meaning in occupation. The participants described the restorativeness of the allotment setting, a resurgent destigmatised identity and attachment to a highly valued social network. Concludes that there are particular qualities of the plant-person relationship that promote people's interaction with their environment and hence their health, functional level and subjective wellbeing. The embeddedness of allotments within communities means that they have great potential as media for occupational therapy and as mechanisms for social inclusion.

Journal article

Digging for sanity

Author:
JACKSON Catherine
Journal article citation:
Mental Health Care, 2(8), April 1999, pp.262-263.
Publisher:
Pavilion

Looks at the development of horticulture as therapy for people with physical or mental health problems. Highlights a number of key projects.

Journal article

Towards a happier life - therapeutic horticulture as a means of mental health rehabilitation

Author:
DAVIES Jessica
Journal article citation:
A Life in the Day, 3(1), February 1999, pp.9-12.
Publisher:
Emerald

This article describes the Cherry Tree Nursery which came about because users of mental health services in East Dorset wanted meaningful occupation which would enhance the quality of their lives.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Nature-based interventions and mind–body interventions: saving public health costs whilst increasing life satisfaction and happiness

Authors:
PRETTY Jules, BARTON Jo
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(21), 2020, p.7769. Online only
Publisher:
Molecular Diversity Preservation International and Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

A number of countries have begun to adopt prevention pays policies and practices to reduce pressure on health and social care systems. Most affluent countries have seen substantial increases in the incidence and costs of non-communicable diseases. The interest in social models for health has led to the growth in use of social prescribing and psychological therapies. At the same time, there has been growth in application of a variety of nature-based and mind–body interventions (NBIs and MBIs) aimed at improving health and longevity. This study assessed four NBI/MBI programmes (woodland therapy, therapeutic horticulture, ecotherapy/green care, and tai chi) on life satisfaction/happiness and costs of use of public services. These interventions produce rises in life satisfaction/happiness of 1.00 pts to 7.29 (n = 644; p < 0.001) (for courses or participation >50 h). These increases are greater than many positive life events (e.g., marriage or a new child); few countries or cities see +1 pt increases over a decade. The net present economic benefits per person from reduced public service use are £830–£31,520 (after 1 year) and £6450–£11,980 (after 10 years). This study concludes that NBIs and MBIs can play a role in helping to reduce the costs on health systems, while increasing the well-being of participants. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Indoor nature interventions for health and wellbeing of older adults in residential settings: a systematic review

Authors:
YEO Nicola L., et al
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, early cite 18 March 2019,
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Background and Objectives: Having contact with nature can be beneficial for health and wellbeing, but many older adults face barriers with getting outdoors. This study conducted a systematic review of quantitative studies on health and wellbeing impacts of indoor forms of nature (both real and simulated/artificial), for older adults in residential settings. Research Design and Methods: Search terms relating to older adults and indoor nature were run in 13 scientific databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, AgeLine, Environment Complete, AMED, PsychINFO, EMBASE, HMIC, PsychARTICLES, Global Health, Web of Knowledge, Dissertations and Theses Global, and ASSIA). This study also pursued grey literature, global clinical trials registries, and a range of supplementary methods. Results: Of 6,131 articles screened against eligibility criteria, 26 studies were accepted into the review, and were quality-appraised using the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) tool. The participants were 930 adults aged over 60. Nature interventions and health/wellbeing outcomes were heterogeneous, which necessitated a narrative synthesis. The evidence base was generally weak, with 18 of 26 studies having a high risk of bias. However, several higher-quality studies found indoor gardening and horticulture programs were effective for cognition, psychological wellbeing, social outcomes, and life satisfaction. Discussion and Implications: There is inconsistent evidence that indoor nature exposures are beneficial for older care residents. This study suggests that successful interventions were, at least partly, facilitating social interaction, supporting feelings of autonomy/control, and promoting skill development, that is, factors not necessarily associated with nature per se. Higher-quality studies with improved reporting standards are needed to further elucidate these mechanisms. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

'My nature' - an effective tool for residential care

Authors:
BREWIN Wendy, ORR Noreen, GARSIDE Ruth
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dementia Care, 26(5), 2018, pp.18-21.
Publisher:
Hawker

Experiencing nature is increasingly recognised as having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of older people living in care homes. This practice example of "My Nature" activities toolkit designed to solve the problem of access to green spaces, which can be difficult for older people with dementia in care homes. Sensory Trust and the University of Exeter collaborated on developing 'My Nature', an evidence based training toolkit to help care staff identify ways in which nature can not only play a role in a resident's care plan but also support them in their work. The toolkit consists of: evidence booklets, nature based activities and a wall chart. The toolkit was piloted and then evaluated to see how far it could achieve the health and wellbeing gains that access to nature can provide. Two care homes in Cornwall participated in the pilot. Activities demonstrated in the pilots include: nature palettes, nature mapping, painting by nature and a tea tasting party. Key findings from the evaluation: the activities succeeded in getting residents out into the gardens and also stimulated interaction, enjoyment and pleasure. For staff, the activities proved to be adaptable to different contexts, could be planned in advanced and person-centred. Challenges identified include: the activities did not appear to appeal to male residents and care home culture. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Nature-based interventions in institutional and organisational settings: a scoping review

Authors:
MOELLER Chris, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 28(3), 2018, pp.293-305.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

The objective of this review was to scope the literature on nature-based interventions that could be conducted in institutional settings where people reside full-time for care or rehabilitation purposes. Systematic searches were conducted across CINAHL, Medline, Criminal Justice Abstracts, PsycINFO, Scopus, Social Care Online and Cochrane CENTRAL. A total of 85 studies (reported in 86 articles) were included. Four intervention modalities were identified: Gardening/therapeutic horticulture; animal-assisted therapies; care farming and virtual reality-based simulations of natural environments. The interventions were conducted across a range of settings, including inpatient wards, care homes, prisons and women’s shelters. Generally, favourable impacts were seen across intervention types, although the reported effects varied widely. There is a growing body of literature on nature-based interventions that could be applied to a variety of institutional settings. Within most intervention types, there is sufficient research data available to perform full systematic reviews. Recommendations for future systematic reviews are offered. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Good practice in social prescribing for mental health: the role of nature-based interventions

Authors:
BRAGG R., LECK C.
Publisher:
Natural England
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
117
Place of publication:
York

Building on early findings from Natural England, this research the value of nature-based or green care interventions within social prescribing services for people with mental health problems and highlights good practice in social prescribing services for commissioners. It draws on the results of an evidence review and an event for health and social care professionals involved with social prescribing in Leeds. The report looks at definitions of green care, models of social prescribing, examples of good practice, suggestions for scaling up nature-based interventions with social prescribing, and evidence of effectiveness and cost effectiveness. The review identified a number of different social prescribing models currently operating in England. The case studies included in the report suggest that good practice in social prescribing depends on good partnerships, high levels of cooperation and joint ownership between a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations with very different organisational cultures. Barriers to the sustainability and scaling up of social prescribing included the lack of a consistent referral mechanism and lack of direct funding for the social prescription element delivered by third sector providers. The report identifies key areas for future action (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article Full text available online for free

Health blossoms in the garden

Author:
HOPKINS Graham
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 24.07.03, 2003, pp.42-43.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

Gardening and horticulture can enable people to increase their self-esteem and confidence, learn or relearn skills, and keep or improve their quality of life. Working gardens, such as the ones run by the horticultural therapy charity Thrive, provide a sensory environment in which it is not only plants that grow but service users, too. This article describes the activities of one participant who has HIV and a physical disability.

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