Nature-based rehabilitation—experiences from patients with acquired brain injury: an explorative qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Purpose: Nature has been found to improve and promote health and prevent disease. Nature-based rehabilitation (NBR) delivered as part of neurorehabilitation is a developing approach. Yet to date the research is sparse. Following an acquired brain injury (ABI), people often experience impairments that cause limitations in activity and participation in daily life, which can impact the quality of life long-term. NBR delivered in neurorehabilitation has previously been explored from the perspective of occupational therapists and physiotherapists, however, to date patients’ experiences are yet to be explored. This study aims to explore patients’ experiences and perspectives of NBR delivered as part of standard neurorehabilitation. Methods: This qualitative study had a constructivist and phenomenological design. Semi-structured focus group interviews were carried out across three healthcare settings in Denmark with 17 participants. Data was analysed using content analysis. Results: The analysis generated three categories: 1. Outdoor versus indoor environment, 2. The natural environment as a co-therapist, and 3. Interrelatedness. Conclusion: The study provides insight into participants’ experiences of NBR. They reported that interacting with the natural environment as part of neurorehabilitation enhanced activity. Moreover, being in nature increased their self-efficacy, sense of autonomy, community spirit, cooperation, and joy, and led to a feeling of peace.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • cooperation, Natural environment, outdoor activities, participation, play, quality of life, self-efficacy

ID: 376455067