Brief research reportsNature–culture–health activities as a method of rehabilitation: an evaluation of participants' health, quality of life and functionBatt-Rawden, Kari Bjerke1; Tellnes, Gunnar1 2Author Information 1Akershus University College, Kjeller 2University of Oslo, Norway Correspondence and requests for reprints to Kari Bjerke Batt-Rawden, Akershus University College, PO Box 423, 2007 Kjeller, Norway Tel: +47 905 84 313 or + 47 64 84 94 00; e-mail: [email protected] Received 1 October 2004 Accepted 5 January 2005 International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: June 2005 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 - p 175-180 Buy Abstract The dramatic increase in sickness absence and disability pensions in recent years are negative side-effects of our welfare society. Among others, people certified as long-term sick are offered participation in a programme of health-promoting activities (salutogenesis) in Asker, Norway. The aim of this study was to evaluate health, quality of life and function among participants included in a programme of community-based nature-culture-health activities. A qualitative evaluation study in 2003 included 30 men and 16 women aged 30–79 years old participating in 12 different health-promoting activities at the Nature–Culture–Health (NaCuHeal) Centre. The group activities were hiking, physical activities, gardening, music, singing, painting, dancing, dialogue groups for men or women, ethics, painting and local history. Around two-thirds of the participants reported to have improved their health status, quality of life and function, particularly when given the opportunity to utilize their own abilities and creativity. Belonging to a themed group seems to play a significant role in increasing self-efficacy and self-esteem. The majority of participants reported improved health, quality of life and functionality when considering returning to work due to their experiences in the NaCuHeal groups. Increasing the population's participation in health-promoting outdoor and cultural activities seem to be a useful method for enhance complete rehabilitation. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.