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Results for 'environment'

Results 1 - 10 of 14

Social infrastructure: how shared spaces make communities work. Briefing

AMBITION FOR AGEING
2019

This briefing highlights the importance of shared spaces to help reduce social isolation amongst older people as the population ages and austerity leads to more and more state responsibilities falling to civil society. Shared spaces could be public libraries, commercial spaces such as cafes or leisure facilities and parks and green spaces. The briefing explains how different kinds of shared spaces help support different types and levels of social capital. This can be between people who share a common bond as well as connections between diverse groups of people. The ability to build even weak social ties with a diversity of people can help provide bridges to new social worlds, helping older people feel more connected to the places in which they live and improving resilience. The briefing summarises findings from the report, 'Social Infrastructure: how shared spaces make communities work' produced by MICRA as part of the Ambition for Ageing programme.

Social infrastructure: how shared spaces make communities work

YARKER Sophie
2019

This report, from the Ambition for Ageing project, identifies how social infrastructure in neighbourhoods can promote social interaction and reduce social isolation for older people. Social infrastructure provides spaces and opportunities for people to have social interactions and build connections. The report argues there needs to be a diversity of social infrastructure to support different types and levels of social connection, and considers the importance of the connections made between diverse groups of people - also known as bridging capital. It also looks at the types of social infrastructure that facilitate this, which tend to be places that the majority of the community would have the opportunity to visit, such as public libraries, cafes and parks and open public spaces. Key points include: that shared spaces within neighbourhoods are vital for reducing social isolation for older people; that different kinds of social infrastructure help support different types and levels of social capital; and the need for social infrastructure that supports intergenerational and intercultural encounters. Despite its often informal nature, social infrastructure is not naturally occurring and therefore The report highlights the need for direct investment and support to help the development of the social infrastructure and the creation of third places.

Heritage and wellbeing. The impact of historic places and assets on community wellbeing: a scoping review

PENNINGTON Andy, et al
2019

A scoping review of evidence on the impact of heritage places, interventions, and assets – things like historic objects, monuments or buildings – to discover how they impact individual and community wellbeing. The primary focus of the review was on impacts of historic places and assets set within the ‘living environment’ of communities, but it also considers evidence from projects that used historic objects/artefacts, for example, in the care of people with dementia in care homes and other healthcare settings. The review looked at 75 papers and reports. It found higher and lower quality evidence that historic places, assets and associated activities and interventions can have a wide range of beneficial impacts on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals and communities. These include increased life satisfaction and social connectivity for individuals and positive effects on community wellbeing such as social relationships, sense of belonging, pride of place, ownership and collective empowerment. It also identifies important gaps in the research, and highlights potential negative wellbeing impacts of participating in heritage-based interventions, or living in historic areas. Potential negative impacts of interventions appear to be related to how well the design and delivery of interventions considered the needs of specific individuals and groups.

A systematic review of outdoor recreation (in green space and blue space) for families to promote subjective wellbeing

MANSFIELD Lousie, et al
2018

This systematic review looks at the wellbeing outcomes when taking part in outdoor activities with family. Although there is existing evidence on the benefits being outdoors has for our wellbeing, there is less evidence of the wellbeing benefits when the time is spent with family. The review included empirical research assessing the relationship between outdoor recreation interventions for families and subjective wellbeing, published from 1997 - October 2017 and grey literature published from 2007-2017. The review reports on fifteen studies in total, including two quantitative, one mixed methods (RCT and interviews), and ten qualitative studies. Overall the review found the evidence base was limited with the number of studies and quality, especially for quantitative studies. The evidence from quantitative studies indicates that taking part in outdoor recreation with families has no significant effect on children's quality of life, and has no significant effect on self-esteem and other measures of psychological wellbeing. Initial evidence findings from qualitative studies showed more positive impacts when taking part in outdoor recreation with families, showing improved self-competence learning and identity; improved wellbeing via escapism, relaxation and sensory experience; and improved social bonding as a family. Analysis of survey data found that people's enjoyment of the outdoors is enhanced when they are spending time with family and friends, and in particular with partners.

Exposure to nature gardens has time-dependent associations with mood improvements for people with mid- and late-stage dementia

WHITE Piran CL., et al
2018

Exposure to green space and nature has a potential role to play in the care of people with dementia, with possible benefits including improved mood and slower disease progression. In this observational study at a dementia care facility in the UK, we used carer-assessed measures to evaluate change in mood of residents with mid- to late-stage dementia following exposure to a nature garden. We found that exposure to nature was associated with a beneficial change in patient mood. There was a non-linear relationship between time spent outdoors and mood outcome. Improvements in patient mood were associated with relatively short duration exposures to nature, and no additional measureable increases in mood were found with exposures beyond 80–90 minutes duration. Whilst further investigation is required before causality can be determined, these results raise important questions for policy about the integration of outdoor space into the design of dementia care facilities and programmes.

Effects of forest therapy on depressive symptoms among adults: a systematic review

LEE Insook, et al
2017

This study systematically reviewed forest therapy programs designed to decrease the level of depression among adults and assessed the methodological rigor and scientific evidence quality of existing research studies to guide future studies. This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The authors independently screened full-text articles from various databases using the following criteria: (1) intervention studies assessing the effects of forest therapy on depressive symptoms in adults aged 18 years and older; (2) studies including at least one control group or condition; (3) peer-reviewed studies; and (4) been published either in English or Korean before July 2016. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network measurement tool was used to assess the risk of bias in each trial. In the final sample, 28 articles (English: 13, Korean: 15) were included in the systematic review. We concluded that forest therapy is an emerging and effective intervention for decreasing adults' depression levels. However, the included studies lacked methodological rigor. Future studies assessing the long-term effect of forest therapy on depression using rigorous study designs are needed.

Health and well-being benefits of spending time in forests: systematic review

OH Byeongsang, et al
2017

Background: Numerous studies have reported that spending time in nature is associated with the improvement of various health outcomes and well-being. This review evaluated the physical and psychological benefits of a specific type of exposure to nature, forest therapy. Method: A literature search was carried out using MEDLINE, PubMed, ScienceDirect, EMBASE, and ProQuest databases and manual searches from inception up to December 2016. Key words: “Forest” or “Shinrin -Yoku” or “Forest bath” AND “Health” or “Wellbeing”. The methodological quality of each randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was assessed according to the Cochrane risk of bias (ROB) tool. Results: Six RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Participants’ ages ranged from 20 to 79 years. Sample size ranged from 18 to 99. Populations studied varied from young healthy university students to elderly people with chronic disease. Studies reported the positive impact of forest therapy on hypertension (n = 2), cardiac and pulmonary function (n = 1), immune function (n = 2), inflammation (n = 3), oxidative stress (n = 1), stress (n = 1), stress hormone (n = 1), anxiety (n = 1), depression (n = 2), and emotional response (n = 3). The quality of all studies included in this review had a high ROB. Conclusion: Forest therapy may play an important role in health promotion and disease prevention. However, the lack of high-quality studies limits the strength of results, rendering the evidence insufficient to establish clinical practice guidelines for its use. More robust RCTs are warranted.

Access to outdoor recreation by older people in Scotland

COLLEY Kathryn, et al
2016

Scottish research study to examine the barriers preventing older people, including older people with long-term health conditions and disabilities, from accessing outdoor recreation opportunities. The research involved two stages: an investigation of the spatial distribution of older people using small-scale geographical units and semi-structured interviews with 27 older people across three case study sites of varying levels of urbanity and access to different types of green/blue natural resources. Results from the spatial distribution analysis found that remote areas and isolated small towns had higher concentrations of older people and older people with health problems or disabilities. It also identifies that the negative impacts on the well-being and resilience of local communities are also likely to be stronger in remote areas, with challenges in accessing medical and care facilities. The case study work found the barriers to participation in outdoor recreation by older people are multiple and inter-related. Key categories of barriers identified in the interviews were: poor health and (im)mobility; lack of or reduced social connections; fragility and vulnerability; lack of motivation and time commitments; safety; and weather and season. Key implications for policy and practice identified from the research include: for interventions to address the multiple and interrelated barriers preventing older people from participating in outdoor recreation, using integrated and holistic approaches involving different organisations; for ‘green prescribing’ by doctors and medical professionals to be integrated with existing initiatives (eg walking groups) which offer opportunities for overcoming social and motivational barriers; and for interventions to identify ways of providing transport access to outdoor spaces to older people.

Better mental health for all: a public health approach to mental health improvement

FACULTY OF PUBLIC HEALTH, MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
2016

This report looks at what can be done individually and collectively to improve the mental health of individuals, families and communities and prevent mental health problems using a public health approach. The report aims to encourage proportionate use of universal services with a focus on the promotion of mental wellbeing and on high level support for those at risk of poor mental health and mental health problems, complementing recovery and prevention approaches. Section one maps out why mental health is an important, highlights its economic and social costs and examines why it is often overlooked. Section two outlines the risk and protective factors through the life course from the early years, to adulthood and later-life. It also looks at the risk and protective factors across communities, for example in the home, education and work settings, and the effects of the built environment and neighbourhoods. Section three addresses approaches and interventions to improve mental health at different stages of the life course and in different settings. Section four offers a practical guide to enable practitioners to support their own mental wellbeing. Case studies of innovative public mental health programmes and projects being run across the UK are included throughout. Annex A includes a list of initiatives received as entries for the Faculty of Public Health public mental health award, 10 of which are included in the report as case examples.

A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care

NATURAL ENGLAND
2016

This study examines the benefits, commonality and outcomes of three green care approaches, to help raise awareness, understanding and value placed on these services by mental health commissioners, thereby helping to increase the number of projects commissioned. Although the three approaches of social and therapeutic horticulture (STH), care farming and environmental conservation as an intervention are contextually different, in practice the approaches often feature similar activities and have a similar ethos. The paper examines their scale across the UK and the current commissioning routes for green care to help inform potential new nature-based service providers. An estimated 8,400 people with mental health problems receive STH services per week and at least 5,865 service users on 173 care farms receive services for mental ill-health per week. Available anecdotal evidence suggests there is growing interest and demand for these services though overall referrals from clinical commissioning groups or from GPs for green care services remains patchy and relatively uncommon. As a consequence there is significant unused capacity across all three green care services. This research seeks to explore these issues and set out the steps required to enable a greater number of nature-based interventions to be commissioned in mental health care.

Results 1 - 10 of 14

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News

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

KOMP

KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia
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