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This study provided STH for 218 patients receiving palliative care in a hospice setting over a 2-year period. Nature-based interventions, such as potting up plants, floristry and creating miniature gardens, were adapted for all participants to create a nature connection experience while indoors. Results showed a significant reduction in distress as measured via a Distress Thermometer and patients’ verbatim reports. ‘Patients also self-reported an improvement in quality of life and well-being and in management of symptoms including a reduction in pain.’ The study concluded that ‘STH is effective in relieving distress in palliative care and may be considered a valued therapeutic intervention. The findings can inform planning within hospices and palliative care settings to enhance the care of patients and their family members. [Pilgrem E. (2023) STH as a palliative care intervention BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care Journal: Online First.

The Distress Thermometer (DT) was developed as a simple tool to effectively screen for symptoms of distress in cancer care patients. The tool is easy to administer and empowers the clinician to facilitate appropriate psychosocial support and referrals.