Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 29.1 - 2019


Effects of Horticultural Therapy on Symptoms and Future Perspective of Patients with Schizophrenia in the Chronic Stage

Takuya Kenmochi, Asuka Kenmochi, and Minoru Hoshiyama

We studied 23 patients with chronic schizophrenia to investigate effects of horticultural therapy (HT) on psychiatric symptoms, feeling of hopelessness, and quality of life. HT with routine occupational therapy (OT) for three months was given to 11 in-patients with chronic schizophrenia, and they were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), and Japanese version of The Schizophrenia Quality of Life Scale (J-SQLS) before and after the intervention. The scores were compared with those in the control participants who solely received OT. The score for the depression/anxiety factor of PANSS decreased more in the group with 

HT and OT (experimental group) than when compared to those in the control group. Scores for BHS and J-SQLS were not changed by the HT intervention. Adding HT intervention for three months to routine OT intervention might be effective to decrease depression/anxiety symptoms in participants who had been hospitalized for more than 10 years. Their feeling of hopelessness and quality of life did not change. The long-term hospitalization and medication taken by the participants may have limited the effect of short-term intervention on such feelings. Factors relating to quality life, such as hopelessness, may require interventions with longer duration.

A Pilot Study on the Effects of Chrysanthemum Scent on Memory and Mood

Kilonzi Francisca, Xuting Shen, Toshihori Nakagawa, Thomas Gianfagna, Kuniyoshi Shimizu, Seiko Goto

This pilot study aims to analyze effects on the short-term memory and mood of the scent of bornyl acetate and eucalyptol, two volatile which are commonly used in many essential oils. The 44 participants in this study were from Nagasaki University’s School of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences (19 male, 25 female), and ranged in age from 18-20 with a mean age of 19. Effects on short-term memory by a memory test and changes in mood by the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire were examined. Results showed that the average score of females and the combination of males and females was significantly better in the room with eucalyptol scent compared to the unscented room. The scent of eucalyptol was more effective than bornyl acetate in improving short-term memory, whereas bornyl acetate was effective in reducing vigor. This effect was particularly apparent among female subjects. 

Exploring the Use of Therapeutic Horticulture to Enhance the Psychological Well-Being of Female Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Michelle Stephanie Watkins, Lota A. Teh, and Karina Therese G. Fernandez

This study explored the use of therapeutic horticulture to enhance the psychological well-being (PWB) of child survivors of sexual abuse using mainly a qualitative research strategy. Twenty-six female children, aged
7-17, participated in a 10-week therapeutic horticulture program. Written questionnaires were given at the middle and end of the program for them to describe their experiences of the program. Filipino translations of the Brief Inventory of Thriving (BIT) and the Flourishing Scale (FS) were also administered at the beginning and end of the program
to quantitatively assess their overall PWB. Thematic analysis of qualitative data indicate that the participants found value in learning horticulture, cultivated positive social relationships and interactions, heightened their engagement with nature, and fostered positive psychological change. Results of paired t-tests of the BIT (t (25) = 4.17, p < 0.001) and the FS ( t (25) = 3.83, p < 0.001) indicate an increase in their PWB scores after the implementation of the program. The results suggest that therapeutic horticulture can enhance aspects of PWB among sexually abused children and has potential to be used as an adjunctive tool to aid in their recovery. Further research is needed to replicate these results and increase the internal validity of the study.

Promoting the Profession of Horticultural Therapy through Partnerships

Derrick R. Stowell, HTR, CTRS and Amelia Burnett

The purpose of this article is to share lessons learned from partnering with the national organization AgrAbility to develop horticultural therapy workshops for Veterans, to explore the need for promoting the profession, and to discuss the value of partnering with other allied healthcare organizations. The goals of this project were to develop and pilot horticultural therapy workshops for veterans or active
duty service members, to connect veterans
to other programs and services offered by Tennessee AgrAbility Project (TAP), and to discuss how horticulture and nature-based experiences provide therapeutic outcomes. The workshops were designed as an introduction to horticultural therapy for participants, who may or may not have experience in gardening or agriculture. Data was collected in the
form of anonymous evaluations filled out by participants after each workshop. Evaluations found that participants enjoyed the hands-on activities with plants, as well as learning how horticulture could be a positive activity to improve their well-being. Recommendations for future research would be to measure details as to the impact of each activity, and workshops overall, on attendees. Future projects could also schedule follow-ups with participants to determine how they benefited from AgrAbility services offered.