Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


MSN project

First Advisor

Carey Martin PMHNP, FNP, DNP, RN


Problem: Numerous recent studies have emerged detailing the benefits of horticultural therapy on mental health and wellness. Despite this, substance use disorder treatment facilities rarely include an outdoor component in their programming. The project seeks to examine the advantages of incorporating therapeutic gardening as a complementary part of addiction treatment.

Context: The microsystem where the study was conducted was at a 32-bed residential substance abuse treatment facility for adult men who have previously been involved in the criminal justice system. The treatment approach employed at the facility aligns with the Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) curriculum, which emphasizes mental health-informed care.

Interventions: A therapeutic gardening program was implemented to equip individuals in the recovery process with positive coping skills to utilize through the remainder of their lives.

Measures: A mixed-methodology approach was taken to acquire quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative results were gathered through a series of Likert surveys administered over four weeks. The qualitative data was obtained through ethnographic observation: primarily through exit interviews and written survey responses.

Results: The majority of clients within the microsystem expressed their inclination towards utilizing gardening as a means of recovery in the future. Furthermore, a significant number of clients reported experiencing decreased stress levels, enhanced overall well-being, and improved social connections as a result of participating in the garden programming.

Conclusion: Utilizing therapeutic gardening as an additional resource within the journey of addiction recovery holds the promise of benefiting the psychological well-being and sobriety of individuals in the recovery process.