AN INITIAL STUDY OF THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MEANINGFUL HORTICULTURAL-RELATED ACTIVITIES
Horticultural therapy is a non-pharmacological therapy used for a number of physical and mental health outcomes. It is a process that uses plants and plant-related activities through which participants strive to improve their well-being, either through active or passive involvement. In the field of occupational therapy, currently there is considerable discussion concerning the effect of subjective meaning on the effectiveness of therapeutic activities. However, in actual clinical settings in Japan, the occupational therapist may need to use simulated work activities. In the present study, we used occupational therapy students in a role-play of a horticultural therapy experience. The study consisted of a horticultural activity performed under three different meaningful contexts: Group 1 used a meaningful context; Group 2 used activities with a contrived component; and Group 3 used an exercise without any purpose or meaning. In each group we utilized multiple measures of mood and physical stress. Group 1 was the only experiment that produced positive physical responses. Results from Group 1 indicated increased physical activity, but a general reduction in stress, heart rate and an increase in positive mood. This case study found an increase in benefits over those found in Group 1. Taken together these findings indicate that underlying meaningfulness does impact the effectiveness of horticultural therapy activities.
Koura, S., Tanaka, M., Sonoda, T., Snyder, S.M., Ogawa , N. and Oshikawa , T. (2012). AN INITIAL STUDY OF THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF MEANINGFUL HORTICULTURAL-RELATED ACTIVITIES . Acta Hortic. 954, 51-56
meaningful activities, elderly, horticultural therapy, occupational therapy