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The Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011 was the earthquake and tsunami of the largest in the earthquake that occurred in Japan. Despite the passage of time, some people living of the Pacific coast of Tohoku have complained about the mental and physical condition such as insomnia and anxiety. This means that some people who experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake are still living with the emotional trauma and stress. Previous studies report that prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ranging from approximately 5 percent to 60 percent is seen in the first 1-2 years after a disaster. It suggest that mental health problems of survivors are most evident a certain amount of time after a disasters. Additionally, previous studies reported about mental health problems of survivors after a disaster such as a temporary increase in cortisol level. The recovery is progressing little by little in the disaster area of Tohoku and it may be said that it is important to medium- to longterm psychological care for the people who live in the disaster area. In this study, as a method of medium- to long-term psychological care for them, we focused on the horticultural therapy. Horticultural Therapy (HT) is a psychological care method for Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that was developed in the United States for the psychological care and social rehabilitation of disabled soldiers and war veterans with PTSD symptoms after World War II. HT interventions are led by professionals trained to incorporate the use of plants and horticultural education into rehabilitation therapies. The therapy in a group setting improves the participant’s communication skills through collaborative horticultural activities. It has been reported that participants begin to identify with plant growth, regain health and motivation. Through such experiences and their association with nature, participants are thought to experience improvemen. It has mainly been developed for elderly adults and people with disabilities.
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Last date updated on June, 2014