Garden therapy in neurorehabilitation: Well-being and skills improvement

F. Meneghello, G. Marcassa, I. Koch, P. Sgaravatti, B. Piccolomini, C. Righetto, G. Prosdocimi Gianquinto, F. Orsini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Last Spring 2013 a Garden Therapy (GT) experience started at the Neurorehabilitation San Camillo IRCCS Hospital in Venice, where patients with outcomes of stroke, traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis are regularly admitted. We are collecting data on how much patients love taking care of plants, how close this is to the metaphorical taking care of themselves and how important it is to deal with the natural beauty of a garden for improving their emotional status. Our view was that GT would be a great opportunity not only for inpatients but also for caregivers, deeply involved in and stressed by the caring involvement. Our main considerations on GT in neurorehabilitation are the following: 1) the designated infrastructures and the activities have to be highly specific; 2) only a small part of the usual work can be done by the patients because of cognitive and motor limitations, so an effort must be made to involve caregivers and staff members to maintain a fine arrangement of the garden; 3) accurate planning of the GT treatment is mandatory due to patients' motor and cognitive impairments, so as not to frustrate expectations; 4) working in partnership with other patients and caregivers is a good choice and could also develop communication and social abilities; 5) from physiotherapy to psychotherapy, GT offers opportunities for sessions in a more inspiring setting; 6) older people, referred by the near nursing home, may share their expertise, creating an opportunity to increase their self-esteem; 7) tailored interventions are a key to success in neurorehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication29th International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC 2014): 12th International People Plant Symposium: Horticulture and Human Communities
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789462611191
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2016

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)05677572


  • Cognitive therapy
  • Healing garden
  • Horticultural therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitative garden

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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