One of our members, a hospice RN, sent me this interview with Dr. Ruth McCaffrey, DNP, Sharon B. Raddock Distinguished Professor in Holistic Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. It was originally published in the digest of the American Holistic Nurses Association.
How have you come to study garden walking for older adults with depression?
I have been working over the last three years on developing an evidence-based program using reflection during garden walking to increase life satisfaction and reduce depression. The work began as collaboration between the Morikami Japanese Museum and Gardens and myself. The Morikami has had many people write letters and tell them that the gardens had a healing quality and helped them in a time of great sadness or in a time when strength was needed. The garden designer has created several gardens in the Japanese healing traditions and uses the idea of nine healing elements in nature. We were able to apply for and receive a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to create a research study with three different interventions, individual reflective walking, guided imagery walking and a comparison group who had art therapy. From that work we developed a book for use in an individual reflective walking program through the garden with a group session at the beginning of the walks, after three weeks and again after six weeks. This program has proved to be very successful and popular…
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