IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 4726: Mindfulness Training plus Nature Exposure for Veterans with Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders: A Model Intervention (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
There is a need to develop novel complementary interventions aimed at enhancing treatment engagement and/or response for veterans with psychiatric and substance use disorders. There is evidence that both mindfulness training and nature exposure (MT/NE) may be beneficial for this population and that combining the two approaches into one intervention might result in synergistic benefit. However, to date, the MT/NE concept has not been tested. This article reports a pilot feasibility and acceptability study of MT/NE which was, in this case, provided via recreational sailing. The primary aim of this project was to develop a model intervention and evaluation process that could be used for future studies of MT/NE interventions using a variety of methods of nature exposure (e.g., hiking, skiing, mountain biking). Results indicate preliminary evidence that it is feasible to utilize MT/NE interventions for the population studied and that the MT/NE model described can serve as a template for future investigations. Further, there were significant pre- to post-intervention decreases in state anxiety, as well as increases in trait mindfulness. Three psychological instruments were identified that might be used in future studies to evaluate MT/NE outcomes. Results from this project provide a model MT/NE intervention template along with evaluation metrics for use in future studies.