Gardening as a mental health intervention: a review

Clatworthy, J., Hinds, J. and Camic, Paul M. (2013) Gardening as a mental health intervention: a review. Mental Health Review, 18 (4). pp. 214-225. ISSN 1361-9322.

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Purpose – The number of gardening-based mental health interventions is increasing, yet when the literature was last reviewed in 2003, limited evidence of their effectiveness was identified. The aim of this review was to explore the current theoretical and empirical rationale for gardening-based mental health interventions.
Methodology – Studies evaluating the effectiveness of gardening-based interventions for adults experiencing mental health difficulties were identified through an electronic database search. Information on the content and theoretical foundations of the interventions, their effectiveness and the study methodology was extracted and synthesised.
Findings – Ten papers published since 2003 met the inclusion criteria. All reported positive effects of gardening as a mental health intervention. Overall the research was of a considerably higher quality than that reviewed in 2003, providing more convincing evidence in support of gardening-based interventions. However, none of the studies employed a gold-standard randomised controlled trial design.
Research implications – There is a need for further high-quality research in this field. A large number of gardening-based mental health interventions are currently being established in the UK. It is important that adequate outcome measures are in place to evaluate these programmes effectively.
Originality/value – This paper provides an up-to-date critique of the evidence for gardening-based mental health interventions, highlighting their potential clinical value.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecotherapy, Gardening, Horticultural therapy, Therapeutic horticulture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0790 Mental health services. Mental illness prevention
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture > SB0450.9 Gardens and gardening
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Prof Paul M Camic
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 13:54
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2015 09:55

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00