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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

The role of natural settings in crisis rehabilitation: How does the level of crisis influence the response to experiences of nature with regard to measures of rehabilitation?

Ottosson, Johan; Grahn, Patrik


We compare people greatly affected by a crisis with those less affected to explore how level of crisis influences their response to experiencing nature. A questionnaire comprising a validated protocol to evaluate frequency of stress conditions, the level of crisis retention, reorientation and rehabilitation potential was answered by 547 individuals. The questionnaire also comprises items on everyday activities. Our findings may be interpreted as follows: experiencing nature has a more powerful influence on the rehabilitation potential of people greatly affected by a crisis; taking a walk also has an influence, although not of equal importance; the social factor has more influence on the rehabilitation potential of people affected by a crisis to a low/moderate degree. Individuals who have many experiences of nature are less affected by their crisis than are those who have few such experiences. We suggest that the rehabilitative effect of nature is tied to its function as an enriched environment. During stays in natural settings, an interaction takes place between sensory stimulation, emotions and logical thought - an interaction that leads to a new orientation and new ways of seeing one's self and one's resources. This seems to largely be a question of how we human beings take in and process information.


restorative effects; affects; people in crisis; nature

Published in

Landscape Research
2008, Volume: 33, number: 1, pages: 51-70

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG3 Good health and well-being

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Landscape Architecture
      Economics and Business
      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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