A pilot horticultural therapy program serving veterans with mental health issues: Feasibility and outcomes.
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 Aug ;32:74-78. Epub 2018 May 25. PMID: 30057063
Derrick R Stowell
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Veterans face challenges when returning from deployment. Many have mental health difficulties because of their service and may have significant effects on veterans' lives. Horticultural therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for these mental health conditions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The current study was a 5-week pilot conducted in the United States to assess a horticultural therapy program for veterans with mental health issues.
RESULTS: Eight veterans completed the full 5-week pilot program. Participants reported significantly lower depression [M = 6.25 (SD = 5.23); t = 3.38, p = .01] and stress [M = 5.00 (SD = 2.56); t = 5.52, p = .001] on the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales.
CONCLUSION: Participants provided positive feedback about the program and indicated that it was beneficial for them. Future research should be conducted with a larger sample size and control group to further validate these results.