Assessment of the psychopathological effects of a horticultural therapy program in patients with schizophrenia.
Complement Ther Med. 2018 Feb ;36:54-58. Epub 2017 Nov 29. PMID: 29458931
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the psychopathological effects of participation in a 10-session horticultural therapy program in patients with schizophrenia.
DESIGN: The study design was pre and post test design of experimental and control groups.
SETTING: Twenty-eight Korean patients with schizophrenia, recruited from a mental health clinic and two mental health rehabilitation centers in Suwon, South Korea, were voluntarily assigned to either a control group (average age: 33.4±9.4years) or a horticultural therapy group (average age: 42.1±13.0years).
INTERVENTIONS: The participants in the horticultural therapy group participated in a 10-session horticultural therapy program designed around various plant cultivating activities. The horticultural therapy program involved sessions once a week from April 2017 to June 2017.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A psychiatrist evaluated the psychopathological symptoms of schizophrenic patients in both groups. To assess the clinical psychopathological effects, the Korean version of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) were used.
RESULTS: The horticultural therapy group significantly improved in terms of positive, negative, and general symptoms on the PANSS after the 10-session horticultural therapy program. Moreover, the horticultural therapy group significantly improved in terms of clinical symptoms of schizophrenia in BPRS after the 10-session horticultural therapy program. However, there was no change in the PANSS and BPRS scores in the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed the potential of horticultural therapy in improving psychopathological symptoms in psychiatric patients. Future studies should investigate the effects of long-term horticultural therapy program on the chronic symptoms of patients with schizophrenia.