Purpose Providing veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD, their families, and staff opportunities to experience physical and mental restoration in outdoor environments designed based on evidence is important. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between evidencebased collaborative design of outdoor environments and their potential capacity to contribute to a veteran's journey to wellness.Designmethodologyapproach There is no existing precedent in the peerreviewed literature linking positive health outcomes associated with outdoor environments to veterans with PTSD. This review of the literature is conceptualized as a means to extrapolate these benefits to this unique population.Findings Access to nature improves physiological and psychological health outcomes. A collaborative design approach ensures that design outcomes meet specific populations' needs.Practical implications Many servicemembers are reluctant to seek traditional treatments for PTSD, fearing threat to future military service and limited available resources. Alternative treatments, access to sensitively designed outdoor environments andor a reexamination of traditional treatments and the environments in which they are provided supports best practice approaches to ameliorating the debilitating effects of this disorder.Social implications An integrated design approach blending the skills of landscape architecture and occupational therapy is key to achieve design outcomes that support the healing process to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.Originalityvalue An inter andor transdisciplinary team approach to design and programming of outdoor environments for veterans with PTSD blends landscape architecture with occupational therapy to ensure both form and function are achieved, thus positing positive health outcomes.
Facilities – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 28, 2013
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