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Experiences of a nature-based intervention program in a northern natural setting: A longitudinal case study of two women with stress-related illness
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Learning and Technology, Nursing and Medical Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1367-2247
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Learning and Technology, Nursing and Medical Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6244-6401
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health, Learning and Technology, Nursing and Medical Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7388-069x
2023 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 18, no 1, article id 2146857Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

This study explored the experiences of people with stress-related illness participating in a nature-based intervention programme in a northern natural setting.

Methods

A longitudinal case study was conducted with two women participating in a nature-based intervention programme on a farm. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews, diaries, rating scales, and self-assessment. Qualitative data were analysed by qualitative content analysis and quantitative data are presented descriptively.

Results

The theme of finding a source for recovery and well-being permeates all categories. The participants perceived the farm and nature to be a calming refuge; they learned to be in the present and could manage the tasks. In togetherness with each other and the facilitator on the farm they felt understood and confident, experienced joy, and found opportunities for change. They gained knowledge and positive memories and found new approaches in life. Self-assessment questionnaires indicated improvements of functioning in everyday life and reduced stress-related exhaustion at the end of the NBI programme.

Conclusions

Nature-based interventions lasting for a relatively short period seem to promote health and may be a complement to other treatments of stress-related illness. Further research is needed with a larger number of participants and in various natural settings.PurposeThis study explored the experiences of people with stress-related illness participating in a nature-based intervention programme in a northern natural setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023. Vol. 18, no 1, article id 2146857
Keywords [en]
Case study, nature-based interventio, nnatural setting, recovery, stress-related illness, well-being
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-94333DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2022.2146857ISI: 000890913300001PubMedID: 36433841Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85142856418OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-94333DiVA, id: diva2:1714278
Projects
New Nordic Nature Based Service Models
Funder
Interreg NordNorrbotten County CouncilLuleå University of Technology
Note

Validerad;2022;Nivå 2;2022-11-29 (sofila);

Funder: European Union

Available from: 2022-11-29 Created: 2022-11-29 Last updated: 2024-05-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Nature-based interventions to promote health in people with stress-related illness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nature-based interventions to promote health in people with stress-related illness
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Naturbaserade interventioner för att främja hälsa hos personer med stressrelaterad ohälsa
Abstract [en]

Stress-related illness is increasing and is a common cause of sick leave in Sweden. Spending time in nature reduces stress and promotes health and well-being. Consequently, nature-based interventions (NBI) for people with stress-related illness have been developed, implemented and studied in southern Scandinavia. However, such interventions are uncommon in the Circumpolar North with a different climate which affect conditions for outdoor activities. 

The overall aim of this doctoral thesis was to explore NBIs to promote health in people with stress-related illness from the perspectives of previous research, people with stress-related illness, healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs offering NBIs with a specific focus on northern natural conditions.

The thesis includes four studies. An integrative literature review (I) identified and summarised scientific studies of NBIs for people with stress-related illness. Studies using both qualitative and quantitative designs were included. Study II explored key stakeholders’ perceptions of the value of NBIs in promoting health in people with stress-related illness. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with people with stress-related illness experience, healthcare professionals, and entrepreneurs offering NBI and data were analysed through qualitative content analysis. In study III people with stress-related illness experiences of participating in an NBI program in a northern natural setting were explored. A longitudinal case study design was used, and data were collected through repeated semi-structured interviews, diary entries and self-assessment questionnaires. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse interviews and reflections from diaries and data from self-assessing questionnaires were presented descriptively. Study IV explored people with stress-related illness experiences of nature prescription. Data were collected through interviews with open-ended questions and analysed with a phenomenological-hermeneutic method.

Findings show that natural environments offer unique qualities for individualised, meaningful activities and interactions with others in a non-demanding atmosphere. In NBI people with stress-related illness find a source for recovery, joy, and well-being. Spending time in nature is perceived as calming and facilitates being in the present. NBIs improve health and strengthen self-efficacy and work ability. Time in nature provides new perspectives, supports existential reflections, and empowers people with stress-related illness to find opportunities for change to achieve balance in everyday life. NBIs can be helpful for people with stress-related illness to overcome barriers to going out in nature or to find their way back to nature. 

In conclusion, NBIs seem to be beneficial in promoting health in people with stress-related illness. Different stakeholders have similar perceptions of the value of NBIs, indicating that it could be a valuable complement to health care. NBIs in a northern natural setting seems to have similar health promoting qualities as those seen in studies of NBIs in other natural settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2024
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
case study, experience, health promotion, literature review, nature-based intervention, nature prescription, nursing, qualitative research, stress-related illness
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-105465 (URN)978-91-8048-581-4 (ISBN)978-91-8048-582-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-09-20, E632, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-05-14 Created: 2024-05-14 Last updated: 2024-05-14Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, GunillaEngström, ÅsaJuuso, Päivi

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