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Horticultural Therapy for Individuals Coping with Dementia: Practice Recommendations Informed by Related Non-Pharmacological Interventions

Wichrowski, Matthew J.; Moscovici, Monica
Dementia care currently presents a challenge to healthcare providers on many levels. The rapid increase in the number of people with dementia and the costs of care certainly contribute to these challenges. However, managing the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSDs) has become one of the most significant tasks in providing care and can lead to poor health and well-being outcomes, not only for the people living with dementia (PLWD) but also for those providing their care. Cost-effective, easily implemented, highly adaptable, empirically based alternatives are needed. Interventions such as Horticultural Therapy (HT), which is naturally informed by Montessori-Based Methods for Dementia and sensory reminiscence therapies, meets these qualifying factors. This article, based on a review of current best practices and clinical experience, hopes to provide recommendations for such an intervention along with special considerations for PLWD and adaptations for different acuity levels. With additional safe and effective, person-centered, non-pharmacological interventions available for the complex cognitive and neuropsychiatric manifestations of this disease, a better care milieu can be provided, improving the quality of life for both patients and caregivers. This article also identifies the need for continued research into the synergistic effects of person-centered behavioral and psychosocial interventions combined with environmental approaches to provide the optimal healing environment for those coping with dementia.
ISSN: 2227-9032
CID: 5660202

Effects of Biophilic Nature Imagery on Indexes of Satisfaction in Medically Complex Physical Rehabilitation Patients: An Exploratory Study

Wichrowski, Matthew J; Corchoran, John R; Haas, Francois; Sweeney, Greg; Mcgee, Arlene
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:Exposure to nature has been shown to influence various dimensions of human experience in the healthcare environment. This mixed method study explores the effects of the presence of biophilic, nature-based imagery on patient perceptions of their hospital room and aspects of their experience in rehabilitation. BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:In settings where patients have high degrees of medical acuity and infection control is a major concern, exposure to the benefits of real nature may be precluded. This is also true in many older healthcare facilities which were not designed with salutatory nature exposure in mind. In these settings, the presence of nature imagery may provide benefits which positively impact patient experience. METHOD/UNASSIGNED:Seventy-six physical rehabilitation patients on a medically complex/cardiopulmonary rehabilitation unit filled out questionnaires assessing their perceptions of their room and various indexes of patient satisfaction. Data were collected from 47 patients in enhanced room containing nature imagery and 29 patients in standard rooms which served as controls. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:= .0071). Ratings of quality of room, quality of stay, quality of sleep, and overall care trended in the direction of the hypothesis but were not significant. Data from qualitative questionnaires supported the results of the EAS. CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:We conclude that the presence of biophilic nature imagery in the hospital rooms had a significant effect on patients' room ratings and positively influenced indexes of patient satisfaction.
PMID: 33840230
ISSN: 2167-5112
CID: 4845592

Nature as co-therapist: Horticultural therapy in child mental health [Meeting Abstract]

Wichrowski, M J
Objectives: Nature-based interventions such as horticultural therapy (HT) have become increasingly popular in a number of therapeutic settings. HT is defined as the use of nature-based environments and activities designed to meet the therapeutic goals of participants. HT is used in both indoor and outdoor programs and can assist in the treatment of a variety mental health issues. Methods: The underlying foundations of human response to nature are explored, providing an understanding of environmental elements that can positively impact the therapeutic process. Current research on passive and active benefits of nature is reviewed in the context of maximizing patient benefits. Case studies are used to exemplify techniques and program possibilities. Results: Information is provided, which enables the therapist to develop new techniques and approaches and enhance treatment settings. Treatment recommendations for psychiatric settings, including design recommendations for a therapeutic environment, the role of HT in the treatment milieu, strategies for rapport building, and use of nature as a form of therapy, are provided. Conclusions: The use of horticultural therapy activities and therapeutic garden design principles has great potential to provide a unique and effective array of benefits in the area of child mental health
ISSN: 1527-5418
CID: 2924242

The Glass Garden : a therapeutic oasis in New York City

Chambers, Nancy K; Fried, Gwenn; Wichrowski, Matthew
[Westport CT] : Arena Books, 2014
Extent: 136 p. ; 26 cm
ISBN: 0979792266
CID: 3834762

Research and Rehabilitation: from Pilot to Publication [Meeting Abstract]

Wichrowski, MJ
Developing research remains a priority in the field of horticultural therapy and serves to help explore theory, describe mechanisms of influence, and evaluate programs and outcomes. Here we explore three case studies exemplifying different approaches to evaluating people-plant interactions in a physical rehabilitation setting. Conceptualization issues, design and methodology considerations, and recommendations for manuscript preparation are covered, mindful of concerns for the horticultural therapy practitioner.
ISSN: 0567-7572
CID: 1815852

Effects of horticultural therapy on mood and heart rate in patients participating in an inpatient cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program

Wichrowski, Matthew; Whiteson, Jonathan; Haas, Francois; Mola, Ana; Rey, Mariano J
PURPOSE: To assess the effects of horticultural therapy (HT) on mood state and heart rate (HR) in patients participating in an inpatient cardiac rehabilitation program. METHODS: Cardiac rehabilitation inpatients (n = 107) participated in the study. The HT group consisted of 59 subjects (34 males, 25 females). The control group, which participated in patient education classes (PECs), consisted of 48 subjects (31 males, 17 females). Both HT sessions and PEC are components of the inpatient rehabilitation program. Each group was evaluated before and after a class in their respective modality. Evaluation consisted of the completion of a Profile of Mood States (POMS) inventory, and an HR obtained by pulse oximetry. RESULTS: Changes in the POMS total mood disturbance (TMD) score and HR between preintervention and postintervention were compared between groups. There was no presession difference in either TMD score (16 +/- 3.6 and 19.0 +/- 3.2, PEC and HT, respectively) or HR (73.5 +/- 2.5 and 79 +/- 1.8, PEC and HT, respectively). Immediately following the intervention, the HT TMD was significantly reduced (post-TMD = 1.6 +/- 3.2, P < .001), while PEC TMD was not significantly changed (TMD = 17.0 +/- 28.5). After intervention, HR fell in HT by 4 +/- 9.6 bpm (P < .001) but was unchanged in PEC. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that HT improves mood state, suggesting that it may be a useful tool in reducing stress. Therefore, to the extent that stress contributes to coronary heart disease, these findings support the role of HT as an effective component of cardiac rehabilitation
PMID: 16217230
ISSN: 0883-9212
CID: 61846