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Open Access Nature-Assisted Rehabilitation for Reactions to Severe Stress and/or Depression in a Rehabilitation Garden: Long-Term Follow-Up Including Comparisons with a Matched Population-Based Reference Cohort

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Objective: To determine the effect of a nature-assisted rehabilitation programme in a group of patients with reactions to severe stress and/or mild to moderate depression. Changes in sick-leave status and healthcare consumption in these patients were compared with those in a matched population-based reference cohort (treatment as usual).

Design: Retrospective cohort study with a matched reference group from the general population.

Subjects: A total of 118 participants referred to a nature-assisted rehabilitation programme, and 678 controls recruited from the Skåne Health Care Register. For both groups, information on sick leave was extracted from the National Social Insurance Register and on healthcare consumption data from the Skåne Health Care Register.

Methods: The interventional rehabilitation programme was designed as a multimodal programme involving professionals from horticulture and medicine. The programme was conducted in a rehabilitation garden, designed especially for this purpose.

Results: A significant reduction in healthcare consumption was noted among participants in the programme compared with the reference population. The main changes were a reduction in outpatient visits to primary healthcare and a reduction in inpatient psychiatric care. No significant difference in sick-leave status was found.

Conclusion: A structured, nature-based rehabilitation programme for patients with reactions to severe stress and/ or depression could be beneficial, as reflected in reduced healthcare consumption.

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Keywords: BURNOUT PROFESSIONAL; DEPRESSION; HORTICULTURAL THERAPY; NATURE; PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2014-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

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