December 29, 2010
Indoor Plants For Health Care Design
Pulmonary rehab patients report increased well-being when interior plants introduced
Could a plant "intervention" improve the well-being of patients in a difficult rehab process? Scientists from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Sweden's Uppsala University investigated this question in a recent study of 436 coronary and pulmonary patients at a Norwegian rehabilitation center. The results were published in HortScience. Ruth KjÃ¦rsti Raanaas, Grete Grindal Patil, and Terry Hartig studied the effects of an indoor plant intervention during a 2-year study conducted at the Røros Rehabilitation Center. The experiment showed that patients' overall physical and mental health improved during the program, but the presence of new plants did not increase the degree of improvement. One encouraging finding: pulmonary patients in the "plant intervention group" reported a larger increase in well-being during their rehabilitation program more often than lung patients from the "no-plant" control group.
According to Raanaas, the team found no "significant direct effects" of the plant intervention on change in either of the self-reported health outcomes. "The results did, however indicate that the plant intervention affected the degree of change in subjective well-being, although this effect was further contingent on patient group."
The team postulated that the study outcomes may have been limited by the rehab center's well-designed interior and location in a scenic mountain area, but noted that these features did not negate the potential for indoor plants to contribute to patient well-being. "One reason why the plant intervention did not influence the health outcomes in the present study may be that the participants were mobile and were exposed to a variety of treatments and activities at the center", the researchers concluded.
Image Caption: This is the reception area of the Røros Rehabilitation center during the plant intervention. Credit: Herman Tandberg, Tandberg Industridesign.
On the Net:
- American Society for Horticultural Science
- The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/45/3/387