Garden Walking and Art Therapy for Depression in Older Adults: A Pilot Study
The purpose of this pilot study was to compare garden walking (either alone or guided) with art therapy in older adults with depression. Depression was measured using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and stories of sadness/joy. Prior to the intervention, 47% of participants had depression scores in the severe range and 53% in the mild range. At the end of the intervention, none of the participants had scores in the severe range, 89% had scores in the mild range, and 11% had scores in the normal range. Results of the GDS data using repeated measures analysis of variance indicated significant decreases in depression for all three groups from pretest to posttest. All participants, regardless of group assignment, had a lower percentage of negative-emotion word use and a higher percentage of positive-emotion word use over time. This study provides evidence for nurses wishing to guide older adults in safe, easy, and inexpensive ways to reduce depression.