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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

The Journey of Recovery and Empowerment Embraced by Nature - Clients' Perspectives on Nature-Based Rehabilitation in Relation to the Role of the Natural Environment

Pálsdóttir, Anna María; Persson, Dennis; Persson, Birgitta; Grahn, Patrik


This paper presents findings from real life situations, a longitudinal single case study on the role of natural environments in nature-based rehabilitation (NBR) for individuals with stress-related mental disorders, at the Alnarp Rehabilitation Garden in Sweden. A sample of 43 former clients voluntarily participated in semi-structured interview, and the data were analyzed according to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Three main superordinate themes were identified as the three phases of NBR-Prelude, Recuperating and Empowerment-explaining and illuminating the role of the natural environments in each phase. An explanatory model of NBR in this context is presented including the three phases of NBR, IRP supportive occupations and a pyramid of supporting environments. A new component of supportive environments was identified and herby named, Social quietness, an important component facilitating personal and intimate engagement with the natural environments.


supportive environment; horticulture therapy; stress restoration; therapeutic landscape; evidence-based health design; social quietness

Published in

International journal of environmental research and public health
2014, volume: 11, number: 7, pages: 7094-7115

Authors' information

Pálsdóttir, Anna María (Palsdottir, Anna Maria)
Persson, Dennis
Lund University
Persson, Birgitta

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification

Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Occupational Therapy
Landscape Architecture

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)