A service evaluation of horticulture therapy in a secure mental health hospital
Gibbon, Simon D.
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This is a service evaluation of horticulture provision for patients in a secure psychiatric hospital in England. Patients were asked to complete a self-report questionnaire, to establish whether there was a change in their feelings towards horticulture, at three different stages, over a one year period. They were also asked open ended questions and given the opportunity to comment on their experience of participation in horticulture. Nineteen patients took part in the evaluation. Over time their average feelings towards horticulture increased in a positive way. Of particular note was the improvement in their self-rated positive feeling about working with other people. Participation in horticulture also appears to have given patients increased opportunity to connect with the outside world and nature. Participants also made positive free text comments about their horticulture experience. Despite a number of limitations, this service evaluation provides support for continuing to offer this intervention to patients. As the range of horticulture opportunities for patients at our hospital expands we hope to continue to evaluate their impact.