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Disabil Rehabil. 2016 Dec;38(25):2504-13. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1130177. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

Understanding how prevocational training on care farms can lead to functioning, motivation and well-being.

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a Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning , Section for Public Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences , Ås , Norway ;
b Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences , Norwegian University of Life Sciences , Ås , Norway ;
c Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo , Oslo , Norway ;
d Faculty of Health and Social Work Studies, Østfold University College , Fredrikstad , Norway.



Prevocational training aims to improve basic vocational and social skills, supporting return to work for people who have been out of work for a long time. Care farms provide prevocational training; the aim of the study was to use the self-determination theory to gain an understanding of how these programmes can lead to healthy functioning and motivation for clients.


A total of 194 participants in prevocational training on care farms answered questions about demographic information, their perception of being a colleague, the social community on the farm, experiencing nature and animals and need satisfaction. A cross-sectional design resulting in a structural equation model was used to understand how elements of the care farm context influence satisfaction of three psychological needs.


The results showed that a feeling of being a useful colleague led to competence, experiencing a sense of group belonging led to relatedness and autonomy, while receiving social support from the farmer led to satisfaction of all three needs for the participants.


The results explain how prevocational training can stimulate participants' functionality, motivation and well-being. This understanding enables initiators and managers of prevocational training to understand and further strengthen the need-supportive elements of such programmes. Implications for Rehabilitation Prevocational training on care farms can facilitate motivation, functioning and well-being for clients. Making clients feel like useful colleagues that belong to a client group will strengthen the positive qualities of these programmes. Support, understanding and acknowledgement from the farmer are the most important elements for a positive development for the clients.


Care farms; need support; return to work; self-determination theory; vocational rehabilitation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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