Academic journal article Science and Children

The Perfect Gift for Patients

Academic journal article Science and Children

The Perfect Gift for Patients

Article excerpt

Contact with nature has long been suspected to increase positive feelings, reduce stress, and provide distraction from the pain associated with recovery from surgery.

A recent study by Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H. Mattson, researchers from the Department of Horticulture, Recreation, and Forestry at Kansas State University, provides strong evidence that contact with plants is directly beneficial to a hospital patient's health. Using various medical and psychological measurements, the study set out to evaluate if plants in hospital rooms have therapeutic influences.

Studies show that when patients have great stress associated with surgery, they typically experience more severe pain and a slower recovery period. Some of these problems are treated through the use of anesthetics and analgesics, but, if not properly administered, the drugs can have side effects ranging from vomiting and headaches to drug dependency or even fatality. It is therefore beneficial to patients and care providers to develop approaches that improve the overall patient experience but don't rely on pharmaceuticals.

The study, published in the October 2008 issue of HortTechnology, was conducted on 90 patients recovering from an appendectomy. …

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