Horticultural therapy in dementia care: a literature review

Marianne Blake (Lead / Corresponding author), Gary Mitchell

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: To present a narrative review of the empirical literature on the use of horticultural therapy in dementia care.

    Method: A comprehensive literature search, conducted in December 2014, resulted in the selection of 15 primary research articles for review. Of these, three used qualitative methods, five used quantitative methods and seven used mixed methodology. The articles were critically appraised, and the narrative synthesis used a thematic approach whereby prominent themes from the articles were grouped to form representative themes.

    Findings: Three main themes emerged from the narrative synthesis: the emotional health of people living with dementia, their perceived self-identity and their levels of engagement.

    Conclusion: Horticultural therapy can be beneficial. At a macro-level, it is an inexpensive therapy that does not require specialist training to deliver. At a micro-level, it enhances the wellbeing of people living with dementia. Recommendations are made to promote access to appropriate horticultural therapy for people living with dementia, and for further research in this area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-47
    Number of pages7
    JournalNursing Standard
    Issue number21
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • dementia
    • garden therapy
    • ferontology
    • horticultural therapy
    • non-pharmacological interventions
    • older people
    • quality of life


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