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Healthcare 2018, 6(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6020064

That Guy, Is He Really Sick at All?” An Analysis of How Veterans with PTSD Experience Nature-Based Therapy

1
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
2
The Research Unit for General Practice, University of Copenhagen, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1014 København K, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Veterans)
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Abstract

Serving in the military leads to mental diseases, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for a percentage of soldiers globally. The number of veterans with PTSD is increasing and, although medication and psychological treatments are offered, treatment results could be improved. Historically, different forms of nature-based therapy have been used for this target group. However, in spite of anecdotally good results, studies measuring the effect of this form of therapy are still lacking. The aim of this study is to explore how veterans with PTSD manage their everyday lives during and after a ten-week nature-based intervention in a therapy garden. Methods: Eight veterans participated in qualitative interviews, which were conducted during a one-year period and were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results: Five themes emerged from the IPA analysis: Bodily symptoms; relationships; building new identities; the future; and lessons learned. All the participating veterans gained a greater insight into and mastering of their condition, achieved better control of their lives, and developed tools to handle life situations more appropriately and to build a new identity. This improved their ability to participate in social activities and employment. Conclusion: The results should be considered in the future treatment of veterans with PTSD. View Full-Text
Keywords: veterans; post-traumatic stress disorder; nature-based therapy; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis; qualitative study veterans; post-traumatic stress disorder; nature-based therapy; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis; qualitative study
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Poulsen, D.V.; Stigsdotter, U.K.; Davidsen, A.S. “That Guy, Is He Really Sick at All?” An Analysis of How Veterans with PTSD Experience Nature-Based Therapy. Healthcare 2018, 6, 64.

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