Forest therapy can prevent and treat depression: Evidence from meta-analyses
Resumen: Forest therapy involves engaging in a combination of forest-based activities to improve one’s health or wellbeing. We conducted an overview of systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses of primary studies to provide the most comprehensive summary of the effect of forest therapy on depression. We included 13 primary studies that matched our eligibility criteria - all were included in four recent SRs and were conducted in the Republic of Korea. We carried out meta-analyses with data extracted directly from these 13 studies and assessed their risk of bias. Outcomes of interest were depressive symptoms, temporary recovery from depression (i.e. remission), response to treatment (i.e. ≥ 50 % reduction on depressive symptoms from baseline), adherence to treatment, and adverse effects. Considering pooled estimates from randomized controlled trials with adults, we found that compared to no intervention/usual care, forest therapy produced a greater reduction of depressive symptoms (Hedges’g = 1.18, 95 % CI [0.86, 1.50], p < .00001). Also compared to no intervention/usual care, participants in the forest therapy group were 17 times as likely to achieve remission (Risk Ratio = 17.02, 95 % CI [3.40, 85.21], p = .0006) and three times as likely to have a ≥ 50 % reduction on depressive symptoms (Risk Ratio = 3.18, 95 % CI [1.94, 5.21], p < .00001). Forest therapy, on average, reduced depressive symptoms more than engaging in similar activities in a hospital or non-forested urban area, or participating in an intervention focused on diet plus forest-based exercise. We did not find evidence that adherence to forest therapy is different from the adherence to alternative interventions and the adverse effects of forest therapy appear to be rare. These results indicate that, relative to many more conventional alternatives, forest therapy is a more effective short-term intervention for the prevention and treatment of depression in adults.
Idioma: Inglés
DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126943
Año: 2020
Publicado en: URBAN FORESTRY & URBAN GREENING 57 (2020), 126943 [11 pp.]
ISSN: 1618-8667

Factor impacto JCR: 4.537 (2020)
Categ. JCR: FORESTRY rank: 3 / 67 = 0.045 (2020) - Q1 - T1
Categ. JCR: URBAN STUDIES rank: 9 / 43 = 0.209 (2020) - Q1 - T1
Categ. JCR: ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES rank: 35 / 125 = 0.28 (2020) - Q2 - T1

Factor impacto SCIMAGO: 1.163 - Ecology (Q1) - Soil Science (Q1) - Forestry (Q1)

Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MICIU/PGC2018-095502-B-I00
Tipo y forma: Review (PrePrint)
Área (Departamento): Área Psicología Social (Dpto. Psicología y Sociología)

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