The effect of a horticultural therapy program on cerebral palsied children Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1j92gb22v

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  • Horticultural therapy is the use of plants and plant-related activities as an adjunct therapy assisting medical, psychological and other rehabilitative therapies in the improvement of physical and mental health. Although long associated with having a beneficial effect upon people characterized as mentally ill, mentally deficient, socially maladapted and physically disabled, horticultural therapy had never been documented as to the effectiveness of its therapeutic process. The purpose of this study was to research horticultural therapy and then design a series of horticultural exercises that would identify whether or not an adjunct horticultural therapy program had a statistically significant impact on the treatment subjects. A literature review provided the theory and practice of horticultural therapy and identified cerebral palsied children as representative of those physical, mental and social afflictions claimed to be responsive to horticultural therapy. Forty-four institutionalized cerebral palsied children were divided into treatment and control groups and then pretested. The treatment group was subjected to a series of horticultural therapy exercises while the control group continued their normal agenda. The groups were posttested upon completion of the program and the scores were compared by an analysis of covariance statistical procedure. There was no significant difference between the performance of children who had been exposed to the horticultural therapy program and those children who had not. It was concluded that an adjunct horticultural therapy program taught by a volunteer teacher on a part-time basis was of limited value. It was recommended that a more extensive experiment evaluate a full-time professionally staffed horticultural therapy program.
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