Matthew R DeSanto, Maleck A Saleh, Robert A Bitonte
The purpose of this paper is to analyze utilization rates and barriers of horticultural therapy while highlighting several of its efficacious applications. Horticultural therapy provides therapeutic opportunities to patients of varying diagnoses such as dementia, schizophrenia, depression, and other mental illnesses, yet is seemingly underutilized. Using telephone surveys, we analyzed the utilization of horticultural therapy in large medical institutions of the Northeast Ohio region, the remainder of Ohio, and portions of Western Pennsylvania. Nineteen out of twenty-four responding relevant medical institutions do not offer horticultural based therapeutic programs. These same institutions proclaim they are unable to provide the therapy due to inadequate financial remuneration and resources, inclement weather, and unfamiliarity towards horticultural therapy. Continued and more aggressive advocacy is imperative to achieve proper resourcing and remuneration of horticultural therapy as an essential health benefit through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Published Date: 2020-03-23; Received Date: 2020-03-03