Summary: Although horticultural interventions have potential therapeutic effects on patients’ clinical and psychological outcomes, there is a lack of scientific research based on the experience of elderly post-stroke patients involved in therapeutic gardening during their rehabilitation program. This paper explores post-stroke patients’ experience of a person-centered therapeutic gardening intervention within their rehabilitation programs, by: 1) deepening the comprehension of their own psycho-social experience; and 2) evaluating whether therapeutic gardening is perceived by patients as an occasion to foster their engagement toward rehabilitation and self-care. A qualitative phenomenological study was conducted based on semi-structured interviews and diaries of 22 neurological post-stroke patients. Five main themes were identified from interviews and diaries: 1) the positive experience of nature, 2) therapeutic gardening as a protected self-expression space, 3) contact with nature as a boost for self-efficacy, 4) the plant as a catalyst of the patient-therapist relationship, 5) therapeutic gardening as a bridge between the hospital environment and the outside world. Post-stroke patients who engage in therapeutic gardening perceived it as a way to foster their active role in medical care, enabling a proactive and positive attitude towards disease management. It is of vital importance that therapeutic gardening interventions are appropriately evaluated in order to develop the existing evidence base.
|Journal||Journal of participatory medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- patient engagement