Effects of nature-based intervention in the treatment of depression: A multi-center, randomized controlled trial

Katriina Hyvönen, Kirsi Salonen, Jane-Veera Paakkolanvaara, Pasi Väkeväinen, Kalevi Korpela

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Abstract

This research investigated the effects of a nature-based treatment on participants diagnosed with depression.
Participants (N = 136) were randomized into nature-based (n = 59) or standard care-only (n = 77) groups. The
participants in the nature-based group were offered 12 nature-based sessions once a week in addition to standard
care. The participants in the nature-based group were on average 45.0 years (range 22–64 years) and participants
in the standard-care only were on average 45.4 years (range 19–64 years). The nature-based groups took place in
five towns across Finland. The observed effects of the intervention on participants in the nature-based group,
when compared to the participants who received standard care only, included a greater decrease in psychological
distress (p < .05) and an increase in restorative experiences (p < .01) as well as in the self-reported ability to
work/study but only at post-measurement (p < .05). Nature sessions produced restorative experiences that
mediated the decrease in depression. The depression scores of participants in both groups reduced significantly
and no differences were observed between the groups. Thus, nature-based intervention can be a safe and
beneficial form of short-term group treatment for depression in addition to standard care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101950
JournalJOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
Volume85
Early online date28 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

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