The Effects of Outdoor Therapy on Hospital Patients


The aim was to determine if a nurse led program taking a hospital patient outside of the hospital for a period of time effects reported motivation to participate in therapeutic activities, reported well-being, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Background and significance

COVID was a significant barrier in the inpatient hospital setting. Patients were isolated as visitors were not allowed. Nursing staff were concerned of the patient’s well-being. Earlier study that studied patients who had a room view of trees reported “patients with a tree view had fewer negative evaluating comments from nurses” (Ulrich,1984)

Theoretical/Conceptual framework

Taking inpatients outside for fifteen minutes may improve their feelings of wellness and motivation to participate in activities. Heart rate and blood pressure may also be positively affected.


There were twenty subjects. Subjects were over the age of eighteen and had been admitted in the hospital for two days or more and anticipated to be discharge in two or more days. Blood pressure and heart rate were obtained, and the subjects were asked to answer two questions using the Likert scale prior to be transported. The questions were "How do you feel right now?" and "How motivated are you to participate in any type of activity?" They were transported to the outdoors and remained outdoors fifteen minutes. The patients were returned. Blood pressure and heart rate were obtained. The same two questions asked were asked again.


Modes/medians were calculated for the pre/post intervention for Diastolic blood pressures, systolic blood pressures, heart rates, and the pre/post questions. Data was compared to each other to validate if the intervention had a positive effect on the subject’s blood pressures, heart rates, motivation, and wellness. Results showed improvement of wellness (median +2, mode +2) and motivation to participate in activities (median +1, mode +1). The effects to blood pressure (SBP mean +2.5, DBP mean +2.1) and heart rate (mean +2.2) increased.


Outdoor therapy may support patient recovery and emotional social needs. Outdoor therapy may improve reported wellness and motivation to participate in activities by the patient, but not be an effective intervention for improving blood pressure or heart rate.



The Effects of Outdoor Therapy on Hospital Patients