Are you, or do you know an Occupational Therapist (OT) doing therapy work outdoors, who could spare an hour for our research?

The NHS Forest, through the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, is providing advisory input to a University of Southampton research project looking at the use of green space in occupational therapy work. We know that OT, with its focus on recovery through occupation, is well-placed to implement the use of nature in therapy, but research on nature-based OT in the UK is still relatively sparse. More is needed to understand the breadth of practice and the experiences that OTs and their clients have had with nature. 

We would like to know how OTs have used natural environments in their work with clients. This can include activities such as gardening, walking, meditating, exercising, making crafts, maintaining trails, caring for animals, socialising or simply being, in green space (planted hospital grounds, parks, grassy areas, woodlands, meadows) or blue space (natural environments around a body of water such as lakes, streams or the sea).

By finding out more about how green and blue space is being used in OT work, we hope to generate more knowledge for the NHS Forest, help to build the case for provision of green space around NHS sites, and build on our understanding of how nature can aid physical and mental wellbeing.

Participants will be interviewed in a one-off, online interview lasting 45-60 minutes, with all data anonymised before publication. Participants may be invited to promote their work through the NHS Forest network, if happy to do so. Interviews will take place over the next few months, with project completion in November 2022.

If you are, or know, an OT using green space in therapy currently or in the past, you can get in touch directly by emailing or by sending us your contact information via this form.

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