The accessibility of hiking as a therapeutic activity for women with chronic pain

Broome, Jessica (2023) The accessibility of hiking as a therapeutic activity for women with chronic pain. Masters dissertation, University of Cumbria. Item availability may be restricted.

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Introduction: This research will seek to understand the extent to which hiking can be a therapeutic activity for women with chronic pain, whilst exploring the accessibility of hiking for this group of women.

Literature: There is quite extensive literature on chronic pain and on the therapeutic impact of the outdoors, with much less literature available on the accessibility of the outdoors. The area of accessibility is growing but there is no literature specific to women with chronic pain; and therefore, no specific focus on women with chronic pain accessing the outdoors for a therapeutic benefit.

Methodology: Qualitative research has been carried out using a mostly interpretive approach, with some quantitative data produced through a positivistic approach. The main data collection method of questionnaires provided 24 responses through an online survey, with 3 semi-structured interviews carried out to supplement the questionnaire data.

Findings: 100% of participants agreed that hiking has a positive impact on their mental well-being, where hiking increased feelings of joy, helped put worries into perspective, enabled women to feel strong and capable, increased confidence, created a sense of achievement and reduced feelings of anxiety and depression. Chronic pain has been shown to be a significant constraining factor to accessing hiking, with 75% of women having stated this. Various strategies can increase access to hiking, but this depends on the severity of pain experienced.

Conclusion: Hiking has been shown to have a hugely therapeutic impact for women with chronic pain, whilst a significant number of women find that pain is a constraining factor to accessing hiking. It is important to be aware of the strategies to enable access to hiking, due to hiking being shown to be a valuable therapeutic activity and given the impact that living with chronic pain can have on mental health and quality of life.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Masters)
Departments: Institute of Science and Environment > Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: Dissertation presented in part fulfillment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Arts in Outdoor and Experiential Learning, University of Cumbria, 2022, word count: 16,437.
Depositing User: Heather Prince
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2023 15:35
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 14:31
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