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  • Tom Gregersen Cultural Director Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens JAPANESE GARDEN VISITATION AND MILDLY DEPRESSED ELDERLY: A STUDY AND APPLICATIONS Larry Rosensweig President LFR Consulting
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  • The Morikami Museum And Japanese Gardens And The Christine E. Lynn College Of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University Funded In Part By The Institute Of Museum And Library Services
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  • COMMUNITY NEED Depression in older Americans is a common problem 15 to 20% of older Americans suffer from some form of depression (American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health) Depression is associated with greater health care costs, poorer health outcomes, and increased mortality
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  • THE GARDEN AS A MOOD-ALTERING ENVIRONMENT Anecdotal: Visitors to The Morikami report relief of anxiety, symptoms of depression when visiting the garden The Healing Garden: Viewing natural scenes fosters stress recovery (Ulrich, Texas A&M University) 800 years ago monks designed gardens for spiritual transition (Ulrich)
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  • DESIGNED BY HOICHI KURISU AS HEALING GARDEN Kurisu garden designs bring balance to hearts and minds by providing exceptional public and private spaces in which to engage with nature
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  • HYPOTHESIS Walking in a garden environment on a regular basis or as part of a regular program will have benefits similar to those of art therapy in relieving symptoms of depression among elders
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  • THE STUDY: AN OVERVIEW Participants were randomly divided among three groups Group I: Participants walked the garden on their own Group II: Participants walked the garden with a trained therapist providing guided imagery Group III: Participants engaged in art therapy
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  • THE STUDY 3 six-week sessions 58 participants/subjects Pre-intervention data collection to determine severity of depression
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  • GROUP I: WALKED ALONE Met twice weekly on days different from guided imagery group Participants were greeted individually in the museum lobby by the researcher After signing an attendance record, each was free to walk the garden at his or her own pace Some took 45 minutes, others all morning
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  • GROUP II: GUIDED IMAGERY Met at The Morikami twice weekly Met in the museum lobby by the guided imagery leader Began each session with stretching exercises Walked the garden as a group, with guided imagery Each session lasted approx 2 hours
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  • GROUP III: ART THERAPY Met twice weekly for art classes away from The Morikami Sessions lasted 2 hours
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  • STUDY RESULTS Symptoms of depression decreased over the period of the study Both independent walking and walking with guided imagery were as successful as art therapy, but not more successful Walking with guided imagery was slightly more successful than independent walking
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  • MORE FINDINGS FROM THE STUDY Walking in the garden by itself positively impacts individuals Telling or writing personal stories helps more A series of walking sessions is more effective than one or just a few sessions Structure helps provide discipline to continue garden walking sessions
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  • STROLL FOR WELL-BEING Morikami developed new program Does not require mental health professionals regular involvement Designed and tested with FAU College of Nursing researchers
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  • STROLL FOR WELL-BEING Series of 12 walking sessions begins with introductory meeting, mid-term and final meetings Participants pay fee which includes membership and gives free access Offering program this fall to group of highly stressed teachers
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  • THE JOURNAL Allows users to record personal thoughts and observations Provides scripts for 12 guided imagery tours
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