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Experiences of an equine-assisted therapy intervention among children and adolescents with mental illness in Sweden - A nursing perspective
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8354-3382
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9753-0988
2022 (English)In: Issues in Mental Health Nursing, ISSN 0161-2840, E-ISSN 1096-4673, Vol. 43, no 12, p. 1080-1092Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mental illness among children and adolescents is increasing globally, and prescription of psychiatric drugs for children and adolescents with mental illness is increasing worldwide, including Sweden. Holistic health-promoting interventions have shown promising long-lasting significant health benefits in young individuals with mental illness, but holistic health-promoting mental health interventions are often disregarded due to a lack of systematic theory-based knowledge. Consequently, the lack of scientific knowledge thwarts implementation of equine-assisted therapy as an established intervention in mental health nursing for children and adolescents with mental illness. The purpose of the study was to better understand experiences of equine-assisted therapy among children and adolescents with mental illness. The study adopted an inductive approach and data was collected using photovoice methodology. Six young persons, 7–18 years of age, referred by a psychologist to the equine-assisted intervention due to mental health issues, were included in the study. Data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The results could be summarized by an overarching theme, a physical, emotional, and social milieu for growth, consisting of three subcategories: feeling relief from everyday stress and anxiety; nurturing self-esteem in a mutual friendship; and strengthening self-reliance through synchronized interplay. The results indicate that equine-assisted therapy has essential values closely related to the goals of mental health nursing. Further research should strive to attain even gender distribution in study samples and focus on how equine-assisted therapy could be thoroughly integrated into established nursing intervention for children and adolescents with mental illness. © 2022 the author(s). 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis, 2022. Vol. 43, no 12, p. 1080-1092
Keywords [en]
affect, equine-assisted therapeutic intervention, personal recovery, schizophrenia, well-being
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health Innovation; Health Innovation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-48103DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2022.2126571ISI: 000862912600001PubMedID: 36178465Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85141083923OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-48103DiVA, id: diva2:1697511
Available from: 2022-09-20 Created: 2022-09-20 Last updated: 2023-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, Ing-MarieJormfeldt, Henrika

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