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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2010

Joe Sempik

This article discusses the role that gardening, horticulture and farming can play in promoting mental well‐being and in supporting the recovery of individuals with mental…

Abstract

This article discusses the role that gardening, horticulture and farming can play in promoting mental well‐being and in supporting the recovery of individuals with mental health problems.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2020

Roberta Guglielmetti Mugion and Elisa Menicucci

The aim of this study is to undertake a systemic literature review (SLR) of horticultural therapy and to explore whether its inclusion in a healthcare programme can…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to undertake a systemic literature review (SLR) of horticultural therapy and to explore whether its inclusion in a healthcare programme can enhance hospitalised children's well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was developed using a mixed methods approach to monitor stakeholders' perceptions of horticultural therapy. Specifically, hospitalised children (N = 31) and their families (N = 21), as well as medical and nursing staff (N = 3), were engaged in the empirical study. Qualitative and quantitative surveys were developed, involving two paediatric units in an Italian hospital.

Findings

The authors’ findings show a significant improvement of children's mood and psycho-physical well-being following horticultural therapy. The authors found positive effects of interactive horticultural therapy on hospitalised paediatric patients and their parents. Parents perceived a positive influence on their mood and found the therapy very beneficial for their children. Qualitative analyses of children's and parents' comments (and related rankings) revealed the helpful support role of horticultural therapy in dealing with the hospitalisation period. There is a very limited number of studies that have inspected co-therapy implementation in paediatric hospitals, and to the best of the authors' knowledge, no study has yet examined the effect of horticultural therapy in such a context. The practice of horticultural therapy with children in health settings has been documented in some Italian hospitals, but its effectiveness has not yet been well established in the literature.

Originality/value

The authors’ findings could provide useful insights to clinicians, health managers and directors in creating and sustaining a successful group co-therapy programme under the managed healthcare system.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Sue Twigg

Thrive has achieved recognition in the UK, and beyond, as the authoritative organisation in all areas of social and therapeutic horticulture. The charity was formed in…

Abstract

Thrive has achieved recognition in the UK, and beyond, as the authoritative organisation in all areas of social and therapeutic horticulture. The charity was formed in 1978 to promote and support the use of social and therapeutic horticulture. Its mission is to enrich people's lives by enabling disadvantaged, disabled and older people through gardening to participate fully in the social and economic life of the community. This descriptive article looks at the work of the organisation and provides information about the training it has to offer. In short, Thrive uses gardening and horticulture to enrich people's lives.

Details

A Life in the Day, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-6282

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Article
Publication date: 15 October 2019

Julie Barrett, Simon Evans and Neil Mapes

The purpose of this paper is to examine the recent evidence relating to green (nature-based) dementia care for people living with dementia in long-term accommodation and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the recent evidence relating to green (nature-based) dementia care for people living with dementia in long-term accommodation and care settings (housing for older people that provides both accommodation and care, such as residential care homes, nursing homes and extra care housing schemes). The review formed part of a pilot study exploring interaction with nature for people living with dementia in care homes and extra care housing schemes in the UK. Rather than a comprehensive systematic or critical literature review, the intention was to increase understanding of green dementia care to support the pilot study.

Design/methodology/approach

The review draws together the published and grey literature on the impacts of green (nature-based) dementia care, the barriers and enablers and good practice in provision. People living with dementia in accommodation and care settings are the focus of this review, due to the research study of which the review is part. Evidence relating to the impacts of engaging with nature on people in general, older people and residents in accommodation and care is also briefly examined as it has a bearing on people living with dementia.

Findings

Although interaction with the natural environment may not guarantee sustained wellbeing for all people living with dementia, there is some compelling evidence for a number of health and wellbeing benefits for many. However, there is a clear need for more large-scale rigorous research in this area, particularly with reference to health and wellbeing outcomes for people living with dementia in accommodation and care settings for which the evidence is limited. There is a stronger evidence base on barriers and enablers to accessing nature for people living with dementia in such settings.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review was conducted to support a pilot study exploring green (nature-based) dementia care in care homes and extra care housing schemes in the UK. Consequently, the focus of the review was on green dementia care in accommodation and care settings. The study, and thus the review, also focussed on direct contact with nature (whether that occurs outdoors or indoors) rather than indirect contact (e.g. viewing nature in a photograph, on a TV screen or through a window) or simulated nature (e.g. robot pets). Therefore, this paper is not a full review of all aspects of green dementia care.

Originality/value

This paper presents an up-to-date review of literature relating to green dementia care in accommodation and care settings. It was successful in increasing understanding to support a pilot study exploring opportunities, benefits, barriers and enablers to interaction with nature for people living with dementia in care homes and extra care housing schemes in the UK. It demonstrated the impacts, value and accessibility of nature engagement in these settings and identified gaps in the evidence base. This review and subsequent pilot study provide a strong platform from which to conduct future research exploring green dementia care in accommodation and care settings.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Jon Fieldhouse, Vanessa Parmenter and Alice Hortop

The purpose of this paper is to report on an action inquiry (AI) evaluation of the Natureways project, a time-limited collaboration between an NHS Trust Vocational Service…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on an action inquiry (AI) evaluation of the Natureways project, a time-limited collaboration between an NHS Trust Vocational Service and a voluntary sector horticulture-based community interest company (CIC).

Design/methodology/approach

Natureways produced positive employment outcomes and an AI process – based on co-operative inquiry with trainees, staff, and managers – explored how these had been achieved.

Findings

Natureways’ efficacy was based on features of the setting (its supportiveness, rural location, and workplace authenticity), on its embeddedness (within local care-planning pathways, the horticultural industry, and the local community), and on effective intersectoral working. The inquiry also generated actionable learning about creative leadership and adaptability in the changing landscape of service provision, about the benefits of the CIC's small scale and business ethos, about the links between trainees’ employability, social inclusion and recovery, about horticulture as a training medium, and about the role of AI in service development.

Practical implications

The inquiry highlights how an intersectoral CIC can be an effective model for vocational rehabilitation.

Social implications

Community-embeddeness is an asset for mental health-orientated CICs, facilitating social inclusion and recovery. Social and therapeutic horticulture settings are seen to be conducive to this.

Originality/value

This case study suggests that AI methodology is not only well-suited to many practitioners’ skill sets, but its participatory ethos and focus on experiential knowledge makes it suitable for bringing a service user voice to bear on service development.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Michelle Louise Howarth, Cath McQuarrie, Neil Withnell and Emma Smith

The purpose of this paper is to qualitatively evaluate the impact of therapeutic horticulture (TH) on social integration for people who have mental health problems.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to qualitatively evaluate the impact of therapeutic horticulture (TH) on social integration for people who have mental health problems.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative grounded theory approach captured the perceptions about TH from people with mental health problems. Data were collected using semi-structured focus group and interviews from a purposive sample (n=7) and were analysed using a constant comparative approach.

Findings

Four key themes emerged from the analysis: “a space to grow”, “seeing the person”, “learning about each other through nature” and “connecting to nature and others”. The findings suggest that TH enabled participants to integrate socially, engage with nature and develop confidence.

Research limitations/implications

TH is a potential approach that can help combat social isolation. The findings from this research have implications for people working towards supporting people who are socially excluded. However, this was a pilot study with a small sample size of seven people with mental health problems, whilst four key themes emerged, the saturation of concepts rather than the sample size were saturated to provide an emic perspective of the phenomena.

Practical implications

TH provides a person centred approach that enables people with mental health problems to re-engage and connect with their fellow human beings. Using TH could help improve the public health and well-being of local communities through re-connecting people to the environment and reduce social isolation.

Social implications

TH embody the principles of empowerment, person centeredness and can support people with mental health problems to integrate socially.

Originality/value

There is limited evidence about the influence that TH have on mental health and social integration. The use of TH is an area that is gathering evidence and this small study highlights the perceived potential benefits of this approach.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2013

Jane Clatworthy, Joe Hinds and Paul M. Camic

The number of gardening-based mental health interventions is increasing, yet when the literature was last reviewed in 2003, limited evidence of their effectiveness was…

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Abstract

Purpose

The number of gardening-based mental health interventions is increasing, yet when the literature was last reviewed in 2003, limited evidence of their effectiveness was identified. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the current evidence-base for gardening-based mental health interventions and projects through examining their reported benefits and the quality of research in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

Studies evaluating the benefits of gardening-based interventions for adults experiencing mental health difficulties were identified through an electronic database search. Information on the content and theoretical foundations of the interventions, the identified benefits of the interventions and the study methodology was extracted and synthesised.

Findings

Ten papers published since 2003 met the inclusion criteria. All reported positive effects of gardening as a mental health intervention for service users, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants described a range of benefits across emotional, social, vocational, physical and spiritual domains. Overall the research was of a considerably higher quality than that reviewed in 2003, providing more convincing evidence in support of gardening-based interventions. However, none of the studies employed a randomised-controlled trial design.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for further high-quality research in this field. It is important that adequate outcome measures are in place to evaluate existing gardening-based mental health interventions/projects effectively.

Originality/value

This paper provides an up-to-date critique of the evidence for gardening-based mental health interventions, highlighting their potential clinical value.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2019

Alan Farrier, Michelle Baybutt and Mark Dooris

In the context of current prison safety and reform, the purpose of this paper is to discuss findings of an impact evaluation of a horticultural programme delivered in 12…

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Abstract

Purpose

In the context of current prison safety and reform, the purpose of this paper is to discuss findings of an impact evaluation of a horticultural programme delivered in 12 prisons in North West England.

Design/methodology/approach

The programme was evaluated using quantitative and qualitative methods, including Green Gym© questionnaires, the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) and Biographic-Narrative Interpretive Method interviews.

Findings

Against a backdrop of high rates of suicide, self-harm and poor mental health, the horticultural programme studied proved beneficial to prisoner participants, the most marked effect was on mental health and wellbeing. In addition to data related to the original mental health outcome indicators, the study revealed multiple layers of “added value” related to mental health arising from horticultural work in a prison setting.

Research limitations/implications

The main research limitations were the limited completion of follow-on questionnaires due to prisoners being released and the inability to conduct longitudinal data collection post-release. There was also concern about response bias and lack of resource to compare with the experience of prisoners not participating in the programme.

Social implications

Positive impacts on prisoners’ mental health and wellbeing included increased confidence, social interactions with staff and other prisoners and gaining skills and qualifications and work experience, increasing potential for post-release employment.

Originality/value

Benefits of horticulture work on health are well established. However, to date, there is little research concerning the effects this work may have on mental wellbeing of prisoners both within prisons and more so upon their release back into the community.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Jessica Davies

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

Abstract

Cherry Tree Nursery came about because users of mental health services in East Dorset wanted meaningful occupation which would enhance the quality of their lives. Many of us find gardening therapeutic and this project not only gives joy to its volunteers, but also contributes to the gardens (and mental health) of its thousands of gardening, plant‐buying customers in the Bournemouth area.

Details

A Life in the Day, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-6282

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2020

Jan Lees, Rex Haigh, Simone Bruschetta, Anando Chatterji, Veronica Dominguez-Bailey, Sandra Kelly, Aldo Lombardo, Shama Parkhe, Joāo G. Pereira, Yousuf Rahimi and Barbara Rawlings

This paper aims to describe a method of training for practitioners in democratic Therapeutic Communities (TCs) which has been used in several settings across the world…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe a method of training for practitioners in democratic Therapeutic Communities (TCs) which has been used in several settings across the world over the past 25 years: the “Living-Learning Experience” (LLE) workshop. It goes on to consider the cross-cultural implications of the work.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the experience of running exactly the same programme in different countries and cultures, the paper examines the cross-cultural adaptability and describes necessary adaptations for local circumstances. It also contains original ethnographic research in UK and Italy; further study is planned for other countries.

Findings

The workshops are readily transferable to different cultures and are appreciated for their democratic and relational way of working.

Research limitations/implications

The ethnographic study examines the workshops in some depth, in UK and Italy, and could usefully be replicated in other countries. No quantitative, outcome or follow-up studies have yet been done, and this paper could contribute to the design of useful quantitative studies.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates that the LLE is a useful experiential learning tool in widely different settings. It could be developed in different ways, such as for developing relational practice or establishing therapeutic environments in different settings.

Social implications

The workshops' acceptance in widely different cultures indicates that the open and non-didactic format addresses essential and fundamental qualities required for therapeutic engagement and human relatedness.

Originality/value

This is the first description of the principles of democratic TCs being applied across different international settings. Its value extends beyond the TC field, to the use of democratic and relational principles' applicability in therapeutic pedagogy and training.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

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