When we go into hospital, we expect medication and surgery to make us better, but the presence of a simple plant can also play a part in speeding up recovery and improving well-being.
FACT: Hospital patients with plants in their room have less pain, anxiety, fatigue, take significantly less pain medication, have lower blood pressure and heart rates, and are happier with their recovery rooms than patients without plants.
Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H Mattson, researchers from the Department of Horticulture, Recreation and Forestry at Kansas State University
The above study was conducted on 90 patients recovering from an appendectomy. Patients were randomly assigned to hospital rooms with or without plants during their post-operative recovery periods. Data collected for the study included information on the length of hospitalisation, administration of drugs for post-operative pain control, vital signs, ratings of pain intensity, distress, fatigue and anxiety, and the patients’ room satisfaction questionnaire.
Patients with plants in their rooms had significantly fewer intakes of pain medication, more positive physiological responses (lower blood pressure and heart rate), less pain, anxiety, and fatigue, and better overall positive and higher satisfaction with their recovery rooms than their counterparts in the control group without plants in their rooms.
Myth: Houseplants spread germs in hospitals.
False: Indoor plants actually clean the air, removing impurities, not adding to them.