Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick
Background: Green Exercise, defined as exercising in nature, demonstrates mental and physical health benefits. Given the limited literature on Green Exercise as part of the treatment for chronic pain, our objective was to investigate chronic pain patient’s perceptions of Green Exercise and the possible barriers that may arise in employing it as part of their treatment regimes.
Methods: After institutional ethics committee approval a convenience sample of 100 adult patients who suffer from chronic pain were included. Participants completed a questionnaire that included a variety of questions with responses reported using a Likert scale.
Results: The most frequent age reported was 50–70 years in 48% of respondents and the most frequent pain complaint was back pain (65%). Ninety-five percent of participants reported that nature improves their mood. Seventy-five percent of participants reported that green spaces were easily accessible to them on a regular basis. However, up to 30% reported that they would not be able to commit to three times a week of a green exercise regime. The majority (70% of participants) reported that they would like healthcare practitioners to discuss green exercise with them.
Conclusions: Patients who suffer from chronic pain would be interested in Green Exercise as part of their treatment regime. Barriers that were identified included proximity to outdoor locations, time availability and a physical ability to exercise. Physicians should consider Green Exercise as a possible part of a chronic pain treatment plan and future studies should be directed to evaluating its efficacy in chronic pain.
Keywords: Exercise; pain; nature
Cite this abstract as: Selby S, O’Sullivan N, Edgeworth D, Hashim M, Harmon D. Patient’s perceptions of Green Exercise, in the setting of chronic pain. Mesentery Peritoneum 2018;2:AB100. doi: 10.21037/map.2018.AB100