Personality disorder and intellectual disability: the impacts of horticultural therapy within a medium-secure unit

Christie, Mark, Thompson, Michaela, Miller, Paul K. and Cole, Fiona (2016) Personality disorder and intellectual disability: the impacts of horticultural therapy within a medium-secure unit. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, 26 (1). pp. 3-17.

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Official URL: http://ahta.org/ahta-journal-therapeutic-horticult...

Abstract

This study was designed to explore the efficacy of a horticultural therapy intervention for the enhancement of subjective health and wellbeing in male service users with a dual diagnosis of personality disorder and intellectual disability in a medium secure unit in the north of England, UK. Service users (n=7) were involved in three focus groups; one just prior to a new garden facility opening, and then again at the six and twelve month points, which explored the personal impacts upon service users’ health and wellbeing. The garden was itself an upshot of participant involvement; service users were involved in all aspects of the garden design and maintenance, and also assisted with dissemination of the research goals and findings. Service users reported numerous personal health benefits as a result of their engagement with horticultural activities, allied to personal development enhancements in respect of gardening knowledge, employability skills, personal achievements and positive changes in behaviour towards self and others. Particularly, underlying these outputs, participants identified reduced stress, and a general “feel good” factor as key to their improved life-satisfaction. The mechanisms providing for these impacts included: interaction with a natural environment; enhanced intrinsic motivation derived from participation in a variety of tasks; and opportunities to develop specific horticultural skills. Immersion in horticultural activity may thus be an effective treatment modality in promoting positive health benefits to service users.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture
Publisher: American Horticultural Therapy Association
ISSN: 1088-3487
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of the Arts > Fine and Applied Arts
Additional Information: Article reprinted from: Christie, Mark, Thompson, Michaela, Miller, Paul and Cole, Fiona (2016) Personality disorder and intellectual disability: the impacts of horticultural therapy within a medium-secure unit. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture with permission of American Horticultural Therapy Association copyright (2016). All rights reserved.
Depositing User: Paul Miller
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 15:32
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2017 14:24
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2217

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