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Results for 'environment'

Results 1 - 10 of 11

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.

Researching age-friendly communities: stories from older people as co-investigators

BUFFEL Tine
2015

This guide evaluates the experience of involving older people in a research study that explored the age-friendliness of three areas of Manchester. It offers practical tips and critical reflections to help rethink how older people can be involved in research and social action to improve the physical and social environment of their neighbourhood. For the project a group 18 older residents were recruited and trained in designing interview questions, interviewing, data collection, and sharing the findings. The guide outlines the aims of the study, the methodology of the research and a summary of research activities undertaken. It then covers: what 'age-friendly means'; the co-researchers' motivations to participate in the study; the advantages and challenges of involving older residents; skills and knowledge acquired through the project; key findings; and suggested improvements to the age-friendliness of neighbourhoods. The guide includes contributions from older co-interviewers and representatives of community organisations who were involved in the project. The guide concludes by suggesting three principles for developing age-friendly neighbourhoods: that they should empower older people and enable social participation; they are a reminder about the rights of all citizens to full use of resources in their neighbourhood; and the importance of recognising both the social and physical dimensions which make up age-friendly communities.

Dementia friendly communities: guidance for councils

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, INNOVATIONS IN DEMENTIA
2015

This guidance looks at current best practice and learning in the creation of dementia friendly communities, how it fits within the broader policy landscape, and what actions councils can take, and are already taking in supporting people with dementia by creating local dementia friendly communities. It illustrates how simple changes to existing services, and awareness raising for those who come into day-to-day contact with people with dementia such as staff working in libraries or in leisure centres, can help people with dementia feel more confident and welcome in using council services. The guide looks at what a dementia friendly community is, why dementia is a key issue for councils and the role councils can play. It then presents a framework to help develop to plan, develop and assess the dementia friendliness of any community, organisation or process. The framework covers five domains: the voices of people with dementia and their supporters, the place, the people, resources, and networks. For each domain information is included on: the background to the issue, key actions that councils can take to make this happen, and examples or case studies of existing practice. The guide for those who have a role in leading, planning, commissioning and delivering public services; including health and wellbeing boards, and those responsible for health and social care services.

Going outside is essential for health and well-being

POLLOCK Annie
2012

There is strong evidence that people with dementia in care homes and hospital wards do not go outside and that, if there is outdoor space, it is not usually dementia friendly. This article reviews the evidence which shows that being outside is essential for mental and physical health and well-being. Vitamin D deficiency is due mainly to a lack of exposure to sunshine, and has been shown to be associated with falls and with a low mood and cognitive impairment. Physical exercise is also important for health and can reduce the risk of falls. Going outside and keeping active have been shown to: improve general health; reduce risk of depression; reduce cognitive decline; provide older people with a sense of freedom; improve sleeping patterns; improve appetite; reduce incontinence; and reduce aggressive behaviour. The article argues that the benefits of being outside, of being exposed to light, and taking part in exercise can lead to a reduction in the use of drugs. Savings in the cost of care can be used in the creation of therapeutic outdoor spaces. A second article will cover the key design features that can enable the use of outside space.

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