Effects of Horticultural Therapy on Asian Elderly' Mental Health

2015-07-14 10:23:23 | BioPortfolio


The objective of this study is to determine whether horticultural therapy would improve the psychological well-being of the older adults. 70 healthy elderly were randomized into the active horticultural therapy or the waitlist control group. Sessions will be conducted weekly for 12 weeks, and monthly for 3 months. Participants would be assessed at 3 time-points: at the start, at 3-months and at 6-months.

It was hypothesized that as compared to the waitlist control group, participants in the active horticultural therapy will have (1) lower depression and anxiety symptomatology; (2) higher life satisfaction; (3) feel more socially connected; and (4) improved cognitive functioning.


Participants Study participants are community-dwelling elderly.

Assessments Demographic data will be collected at the start. Psychological tests for depression, anxiety and psychological well-being as well as neuropsychological tests of cognitive functioning will be done at the start, at 3-months and at 6-months. Blood samples will also be collected at all three time points.

Intervention Sessions This is an intervention study with a waitlist control group design. The strength of this design is its experimental nature with randomization.

The Horticultural Therapy intervention is delivered by a trained practitioner at various locations and consists of 1 hour sessions weekly for first 3 months, followed by monthly session for the next 3 months. The extension of monthly sessions for 3 months is to determine sustainability and longer-term changes. The intervention is designed to cultivate an interest in gardening and promote relaxation. This will be achieved in stages, facilitated by trained volunteers and practitioners. The plant would be selected based on subjects' profiles e.g. familiarity, preference, safety and its maintenance would be followed up every fortnight. Park venues were selected based on patients profiles and park features e.g. familiarity, comfort under weather, safety.

The control group will be placed on a waiting list and only be contacted for assessments. They will receive intervention after the active treatment group at a later date.

The horticultural therapy is conducted solely for the purpose of this research.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)


Mood (Psychological Function)


Horticultural Therapy


Training and Research Academy; Jurong Point Shopping Centre


Active, not recruiting


National University, Singapore

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-07-14T10:23:23-0400

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