Visiting and connecting with nature through psychological interventions improves well-being within the general population. However, few such interventions have been conducted in clinically relevant populations. This paper aims to address this gap by investigating the effectiveness of a nature-based psychological intervention within a clinically relevant sample.
An experimental design using a noticing Three Good Things in Nature (TGTiN) task during a nature based or urban (control) walk was conducted with nature connectedness, well-being, positive and negative affect measured at baseline, post and six-week follow-up. Individuals living with depression and/or anxiety (n = 50; 39 having a diagnosis) were randomly allocated to 30 min walking in nature or urban environments for five consecutive days.
An ANCOVA, with age as co-variate, showed a significant effect of time by condition on all variables: nature connectedness ηp2 = 0.34; positive affect ηp2 = 0.42; negative affect ηp2 = 0.66; well-being ηp2 = 0.29. Post-hoc tests indicated a significant increase in nature connectedness and positive affect in the nature versus an urban walk at post and follow-up. Negative affect decreased in the nature walk at post intervention, while well-being was significantly greater in the nature walk at follow-up.
The TGTiN intervention effectively improves positive affect, and well-being in clinically relevant populations, although replication with a larger sample is warranted.
Keenan, R., Lumber, R., Richardson, M. and Sheffield, D. (2021), "Three good things in nature: a nature-based positive psychological intervention to improve mood and well-being for depression and anxiety", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-02-2021-0029
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