A pilot programme evaluation of social farming horticultural and occupational activities for older people in Italy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate a 1-year social farming programme conducted between 2014 and 2015, including horticultural and occupational activities on six agricultural farms for older people in good general health. Social farming is a practice that uses agricultural resources to provide health, social or educational services to vulnerable groups of people. Activity participation, social relationships, physical activity, and the quality of life of the participants were assessed using a pretest, posttest design. A total of 112 subjects were interviewed at baseline, though only 73 participants were retained through the end of the follow-up, resulting in a dropout rate of 34%. Data analysis revealed significant improvements in both social relationships and overall occupational engagement at the end of the programme, with significant increases in the frequency of contact with friends or relatives as well as the number of activities performed by the participants. This work adds to the literature on the effects of social farming and indicates that farming may provide opportunities for older people to engage in activities that stimulate social behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 29 2018

Fingerprint

Program Evaluation
Agriculture
Italy
evaluation
Social Behavior
Health
agricultural use
drop-out
social behavior
health
Quality of Life
Exercise
quality of life
farm
data analysis
contact
participation
resources
Group

Keywords

  • older people
  • quality of life
  • social farming
  • social participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "A pilot programme evaluation of social farming horticultural and occupational activities for older people in Italy",
abstract = "The aim of this study was to evaluate a 1-year social farming programme conducted between 2014 and 2015, including horticultural and occupational activities on six agricultural farms for older people in good general health. Social farming is a practice that uses agricultural resources to provide health, social or educational services to vulnerable groups of people. Activity participation, social relationships, physical activity, and the quality of life of the participants were assessed using a pretest, posttest design. A total of 112 subjects were interviewed at baseline, though only 73 participants were retained through the end of the follow-up, resulting in a dropout rate of 34{\%}. Data analysis revealed significant improvements in both social relationships and overall occupational engagement at the end of the programme, with significant increases in the frequency of contact with friends or relatives as well as the number of activities performed by the participants. This work adds to the literature on the effects of social farming and indicates that farming may provide opportunities for older people to engage in activities that stimulate social behaviours.",
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author = "Cristina Gagliardi and Sara Santini and Flavia Piccinini and Paolo Fabbietti and {di Rosa}, Mirko",
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AU - Santini, Sara

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AU - di Rosa, Mirko

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N2 - The aim of this study was to evaluate a 1-year social farming programme conducted between 2014 and 2015, including horticultural and occupational activities on six agricultural farms for older people in good general health. Social farming is a practice that uses agricultural resources to provide health, social or educational services to vulnerable groups of people. Activity participation, social relationships, physical activity, and the quality of life of the participants were assessed using a pretest, posttest design. A total of 112 subjects were interviewed at baseline, though only 73 participants were retained through the end of the follow-up, resulting in a dropout rate of 34%. Data analysis revealed significant improvements in both social relationships and overall occupational engagement at the end of the programme, with significant increases in the frequency of contact with friends or relatives as well as the number of activities performed by the participants. This work adds to the literature on the effects of social farming and indicates that farming may provide opportunities for older people to engage in activities that stimulate social behaviours.

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