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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

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

Authors' information

Høegmark, Simon
University of Southern Denmark
Andersen, Tonny Elmose
University of Southern Denmark
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of People and Society
Roessler, Kirsten K.
University of Southern Denmark

Associated SLU-program

Built environment
SLU Urban Futures

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification

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

Publication Identifiers


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