The influence of therapeutic horticulture on social integration

michelle Howarth, N Withnell, C McQuarrie, E Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Study Purpose: The purpose of the pilot study was to qualitatively evaluate the impact of therapeutic horticulture on social integration for people who have mental health problems. Method: A qualitative grounded theory approach captured the perceptions about therapeutic horticulture from people with mental health problems. Data were collected using semi-structured focus group and interviews from a purposive sample (n= 7) and were analysed using a constant comparative approach. Findings: Four key themes emerged from the analysis: ‘A Space to Grow’, ‘Seeing the Person’, ‘Learning about Each Other through Nature’ and ‘Connecting to Nature and Others’. The findings suggest that therapeutic horticulture enabled participants to integrate socially, engage with nature and develop confidence. Social Implications: Therapeutic horticulture embodies the principles of empowerment, person centeredness and can support people with mental health problems to integrate socially. Originality: There is limited evidence about the influence that therapeutic horticulture have on mental health and social integration. The use of therapeutic horticulture is an area that is gathering evidence and this small study highlights the perceived potential benefits of this approach.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalJournal of Public Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2016

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