Exposure to Nature Improves Quality of Life for Cancer Patients
This study was focused on testing the effect of nature exposure on chemotherapy patients during their treatment session in a comprehensive cancer infusion center. The study observed 33 participants with various cancers in three rooms in random order at different cycles to receive chemotherapy: control room, green therapy room, virtual reality (VR) nature room.
Participants' pain, distress, heart rate, blood pressure, and saliva cortisol were measured before and after infusion in each room.
- There was a reduction in patients' various health measures after each nature intervention although results are not statistically significant.
- Patients reported the experience positively when they were in Green Therapy or the Virtual Reality room compared to the control room.
- Since participating in the study, a large percentage of patients reported spending more time in nature.
- Exposure to nature via VR or green therapy can reduce perceived distress and pain in cancer patients.
- Exposure to nature during chemotherapy also encouraged behavior change in cancer patients: half of the participants spent more time in nature between chemotherapy sessions.