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Experiences of meaning in garden therapy in outpatient psychiatric care in Sweden. A narrative study,

Journal article
Authors Birgitta A Wästberg
Ulrika Harris
A Birgitta Gunnarsson
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
ISSN 1103-8128
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1080/11038128.20...
Keywords Common mental disorders, gardening, interviews, recovery, nature-based, qualitative research, occupational group
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences

Abstract

Background: Support has been found for using garden therapy as form of intervention for clients with common mental disorders, but no consensus has been found for what contributes to perceived meaningfulness of garden therapy. Aims: To investigate whether participants perceived garden therapy as meaningful, and if so, what contributed to the meaningfulness. Material and methods: Narrative individual interviews were conducted twice with six participants who participated in garden therapy and once with two participants. Data was analysed using narrative methodology. Results: Perceived meanings in garden therapy were associated to the participants’ individual needs and prerequisites: to land, just be, relax, go back to basics, understand, verbalise, enhance energy, and socialise. The group leaders had an important role to create safety and trust, and to adapt the activities and use of the environment. The activities, the garden environment and social group contributed to perceived meaning in garden therapy. Conclusions: Garden therapy offered the participants possibilities to meet their different needs and thereby perceived meaning. To achieve this, the group leaders need to adapt the gardening individually to each participant. Significance: Various components were perceived as meaningful. The group leaders therefore have to adapt the garden therapy to each participant’s needs.

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