A prospective study of existential issues in therapeutic horticulture for clinical depression

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2011;32(1):73-81. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2010.528168.


Two studies with single-group design (Study 1 N = 18, Study 2 N = 28) addressed whether horticultural activities ameliorate depression severity and existential issues. Measures were obtained before and after a 12-week therapeutic horticulture program and at 3-month follow-up. In both studies, depression severity declined significantly during the intervention and remained low at the follow-up. In both studies the existential outcomes did not change significantly; however, the change that did occur during the intervention correlated (rho > .43) with change in depression severity. Participants' open-ended accounts described the therapeutic horticulture experience as meaningful and influential for their view of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Existentialism / psychology*
  • Female
  • Horticultural Therapy* / methods
  • Horticultural Therapy* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome