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Research article2022Peer reviewed

The Wildman Programme-Experiences from a first implementation of a nature-based intervention designed for men with stress and chronic illnesses

Høegmark, Simon; Andersen, Tonny Elmose; Grahn, Patrik; Roessler, Kirsten K.


Background and purpose: In Denmark attractive rehabilitation offers for men are lacking. Consequently, more men than women say no to participate in and more often drop out of rehabilitation programs. Therefore, a naturebased rehabilitation program called the 'Wildman Programme' has been designed to men. The 'Wildman Programme' combines nature experiences, body awareness training, mind relaxation, and supporting community spirit. The method is called Nature-Body-Mind-Community (NBMC). The aim of this study was to assess the implementability and effect of the 'Wildman Programme' on the participants' quality of life and symptoms of stress.Materials and methods: The 'Wildman Programme' was explored as a quasi-experimental study. The study included 20 men with psychological stress and diminished quality of life due to mental health challenges and chronic illnesses. The primary outcome was quality of life and the secondary outcome was stress level. All outcomes were measured at baseline (T1) and at the end of the 'Wildman Programme' (T2).Results: The study showed the 'Wildman Programme' has potential to reduce stress symptoms (15.40%) and enhance quality of life (10.07%) among the male participants. Furthermore, physical health (13.92%) and psychological health (16.88%) in relation to quality of life increased during the program.Conclusion: The study showed that the 'Wildman Programme' is implementable in a Danish healthcare center. It was well received by the health professionals and the method was in demand by the target group of men. However, a larger study should be conducted to further investigate the findings of this study.


Chronic illnesses; Men; Mental health; Nature-based intervention; Stress; Supportive environment theory (SET)

Published in

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
2022, Volume: 46, article number: 101535

    Associated SLU-program

    Built environment
    SLU Future One Health
    SLU Urban Futures
    Nature experiences and health

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
    Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
    Occupational Therapy
    Landscape Architecture

    Publication identifier


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