Contact with nature has long been believed to increase positive feelings, reduce stress and provide distraction from the pain associated with hospital stays and researchers now say they have confirmed the beneficial effects of plants and flowers for patients recovering from abdominal 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 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 was conducted on 90 patients recovering from an appendectomy. Patients were randomly assigned to hospital rooms with or without plants during their postoperative recovery periods. Data collected for the study included information on the length of hospitalization, administration of drugs for postoperative pain control, vital signs, ratings of pain intensity, distress, fatigue and anxiety, and the patient's room satisfaction questionnaire. Patients with plants in their rooms had significantly fewer intakes of pain medication, more positive physiological responses (lower blood pressure and heart rate), less pain, anxiety, and fatigue, and better overall positive and higher satisfaction with their recovery rooms than their counterparts in the control group without plants in their rooms. An interesting note to this study—the majority of patients who had plants in their rooms reported that the plants were the most positive qualities of their rooms (93%), whereas patients without plants in their rooms said that watching television was the most favorable aspect of their rooms (91%). The study suggests that potted plants offer the most benefit, as opposed to cut flowers, because of their longevity. Nursing staff reported that as patients recovered, they began to show interaction with the plants, including watering, pruning, and moving them for a better view or light. A number of studies have also shown that indoor plants make air healthier and provide an optimum indoor environment by increasing humidity, and reducing the quantity of mold spores and airborne germs. This nonpharmacological approach to recovery is good news for patients, doctors, and insurers alike in terms of cost effectiveness and medical benefits. The study provides strong evidence that contact with plants is directly beneficial to patients' health, providing meaningful therapeutic contact for patients recovering from painful surgery. Article: Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H. Mattson, 'Effects of Flowering and Foliage Plants in Hospital Rooms on Patients Recovering from Abdominal Surgery', HortTechnology 18: 549-745 (2008)
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Hemihelix: Engineers Discover Perversion Of Nature Using Rubber Bands
- A better than 50/50 chance Kepler-186f has technological life.
- Condensed Matter Physics Pitches In To Help Quantum Gravity
- Kepler - Young Earth Creationist
- Male Or Female? 180 Million Years Ago, It Was Less Clear
- Meteoroid Caught Free-Falling On Video ? No, A Stone In The Parachute Pack
- Bio-Duck? What Is That Mysterious Sound In The Southern Ocean?
- "Why not just link to the press release (https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2014/04/scientists-characterize..."
- "hi there, i am interested in the idea of the wireless provision of power, yet i have no knowledge..."
- "True! I checked the history books to see how long this religious discrimination problem has..."
- " Not exactly...but they do want to make ad money off Cosmos as well as get Emmy nominated. I'm..."
- "@Akshay Singh Jamwal That really is the crux of criticism offered to creationists - whether..."
- The Ancient Maya and virtual worlds: Different perspectives on material meanings
- Autism Genome Project delivers genetic discovery
- Solving the mystery of a superluminous supernova
- A scourge of rural Africa, the tsetse fly is genetically deciphered
- Breakthrough harnesses light for controlled chemical reaction