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      The impacts of the built environment on health outcomes

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      Facilities
      Emerald

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          Most cited references53

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          Natural Versus Urban Scenes: Some Psychophysiological Effects

          R. Ulrich (1981)
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            Measuring health-related quality of life.

            Clinicians and policymakers are recognizing the importance of measuring health-related quality of life (HRQL) to inform patient management and policy decisions. Self- or interviewer-administered questionnaires can be used to measure cross-sectional differences in quality of life between patients at a point in time (discriminative instruments) or longitudinal changes in HRQL within patients during a period of time (evaluative instruments). Both discriminative and evaluative instruments must be valid (really measuring what they are supposed to measure) and have a high ratio of signal to noise (reliability and responsiveness, respectively). Reliable discriminative instruments are able to reproducibly differentiate between persons. Responsive evaluative measures are able to detect important changes in HRQL during a period of time, even if those changes are small. Health-related quality of life measures should also be interpretable--that is, clinicians and policymakers must be able to identify differences in scores that correspond to trivial, small, moderate, and large differences. Two basic approaches to quality-of-life measurement are available: generic instruments that provide a summary of HRQL; and specific instruments that focus on problems associated with single disease states, patient groups, or areas of function. Generic instruments include health profiles and instruments that generate health utilities. The approaches are not mutually exclusive. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses and may be suitable for different circumstances. Investigations in HRQL have led to instruments suitable for detecting minimally important effects in clinical trials, for measuring the health of populations, and for providing information for policy decisions.
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              "Cultivating health": therapeutic landscapes and older people in northern England.

              While gardening is seen, essentially, as a leisure activity it has also been suggested that the cultivation of a garden plot offers a simple way of harnessing the healing power of nature (The therapeutic garden, Bantam Press, London, 2000). One implication of this is that gardens and gardening activity may offer a key site of comfort and a vital opportunity for an individual's emotional, physical and spiritual renewal. Understanding the extent to which this supposition may be grounded in evidence underpins this paper. In particular, we examine how communal gardening activity on allotments might contribute to the maintenance of health and well being amongst older people. Drawing on recently completed research in northern England, we examine firstly the importance of the wider landscape and the domestic garden in the lives of older people. We then turn our attention to gardening activity on allotments. Based on the findings of our study, we illustrate the sense of achievement, satisfaction and aesthetic pleasure that older people can gain from their gardening activity. However, while older people continue to enjoy the pursuit of gardening, the physical shortcomings attached to the aging process means they may increasingly require support to do so. Communal gardening on allotment sites, we maintain, creates inclusionary spaces in which older people benefit from gardening activity in a mutually supportive environment that combats social isolation and contributes to the development of their social networks. By enhancing the quality of life and emotional well being of older people, we maintain that communal gardening sites offer one practical way in which it may be possible to develop a 'therapeutic landscape'.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Facilities
                Facilities
                Emerald
                0263-2772
                February 27 2009
                February 27 2009
                : 27
                : 3/4
                : 138-151
                Article
                10.1108/02632770910933152
                0881ec4b-8a75-4a25-9264-a44848f89b9a
                © 2009

                http://www.emeraldinsight.com/page/tdm

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