scispace - formally typeset
Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/09638237.2020.1755027

The impact of green spaces on mental health in urban settings: a scoping review

04 Mar 2021-Journal of Mental Health (Informa UK Limited)-Vol. 30, Iss: 2, pp 179-193
Abstract: Background: Our planet is currently experiencing the largest wave of urban growth in history, with 55% of the world’s population (4.2 billion people) currently living in urban areas, a figure set t...

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Topics: Population (57%), Mental health (51%)
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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ENVRES.2020.110420
Abstract: Background The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed people's ability to recreate in public green spaces, which is likely to exacerbate the psychological impacts of the pandemic. In the current study, we seek to understand whether greenery can support mental health even with insufficient outdoor exposure in times of physical isolation from the outdoor environment. Methods Between 17 May and 10 June, 2020, we conducted an online survey among 323 students (21.99 ± 3.10 years; 31% male) in health-related programs from two universities in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Severities of depressive and anxiety symptoms over the past two weeks were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale. We employed two self-reported measures of greenery experienced indoors (number of houseplants in the home and proportion of exterior greenery visible from inside the home) and two measures of greenery experienced outdoors (presence/absence of a domestic garden and availability of neighborhood greenery). Restorative quality of the home (the “being away” dimension of the Perceived Restorativeness Scale; PRS) and the neighborhood (the “being away” and “fascination” dimensions of the PRS), engagement with outdoor greenery (frequency of different types of interaction) and perceived social support were treated as mediators. Associations between greenery and mental health were tested using generalized linear regression and logistic regression. Structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques were used to test the theoretically-indicated relations among the variables. Results Clinically-meaningful symptoms of moderate depression and anxiety were reported by approximately 33% and 20% of the students, respectively. The relative abundance of greenery visible from the home or in the neighborhood was associated with reduced depressive/anxiety symptoms and lower depression/anxiety rates. Having more houseplants or a garden was also associated with some of these markers of mental health. As hypothesized, the mental health-supportive effects of indoor greenery were largely explained by increased feelings of being away while at home. Neighborhood greenery contributed to neighborhood restorative quality, which in turn facilitated social support and more frequent engagement with greenery, and that led to better mental health. Conclusions Students who spent most of their time at home during the COVID-19 epidemic experienced better mental health when exposed to more greenery. Our findings support the idea that exposure to greenery may be a valuable resource during social isolation in the home. However, causal interpretation of these associations is not straightforward.

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Topics: Mental health (51%)

35 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ENVRES.2020.110625
Abstract: Exposure to urban greenspaces promotes an array of mental health benefits. Understanding these benefits is of paramount importance, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where cities are expanding at an unprecedented rate. However, the existing evidence-base for the health benefits of greenspaces has a strong bias towards high-income countries. Here we systematically assess the emerging evidence regarding the mental health benefits provided by urban greenspaces in LMICs. We carried out a scoping review to assess the extent, type and quality of evidence investigating the relationship between greenspaces and mental health in LMICs. We systematically searched the literature databases Web of Science, Medline, Embase and CAB Abstracts using key terms related to greenspaces and mental health in LMICs. We analysed the resulting studies using a narrative synthesis approach, taking into account study quality, to assess the overall effects on mental health. 36 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the narrative synthesis. Studies were heterogeneous in design, study population, greenspace and mental health assessment. While more than 90% of LMICs remain unstudied, we found that eight out of ten studies using validated mental health screening tools detected positive associations between greenspaces and one or more mental health outcomes. These studies mostly took place in upper-middle-income countries. However, there still is a lack of evidence from regions with the highest levels of urbanisation, and only four studies assessed lower-middle and low-income countries. Furthermore, the analysis of mediating and moderating factors indicates that the relationship between greenspaces and mental health in LMICs is context dependent and needs to be assessed in relation to locally relevant environmental and cultural settings. Based on the evidence reviewed here, exposure to urban greenspaces can support multiple mental health outcomes in upper-middle-income countries. However, we still know little about poorer, rapidly urbanising countries. Our findings highlight the need for high-quality, context specific research in those urban areas with the highest levels of urbanisation, and the need to address specific challenges regarding mediating and moderating factors. Future studies should combine robust ecological assessments of greenspaces with validated mental health screening tools.

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Topics: Mental health (55%), Context (language use) (52%)

8 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/IJERPH18105137
Abstract: The current review aimed to explore the association between urban greenspaces and health indicators. In particular, our aims were to analyze the association between publicly accessible urban greenspaces exposure and two selected health outcomes (objectively measured physical activity (PA) and mental health outcomes (MH)). Two electronic databases-PubMed/Medline and Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE)-were searched from 1 January 2000 to 30 September 2020. Only articles in English were considered. Out of 356 retrieved articles, a total of 34 papers were included in our review. Of those, 15 assessed the association between urban greenspace and PA and 19 dealt with MH. Almost all the included studies found a positive association between urban greenspace and both PA and MH, while a few demonstrated a non-effect or a negative effect on MH outcomes. However, only guaranteeing access is not enough. Indeed, important elements are maintenance, renovation, closeness to residential areas, planning of interactive activities, and perceived security aspects. Overall, despite some methodological limitations of the included studies, the results have shown almost univocally that urban greenspaces harbour potentially beneficial effects on physical and mental health and well-being.

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5 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/SU13116457
06 Jun 2021-Sustainability
Abstract: The review and assessment of urban greening patterns play a crucial role in sustainable urban planning and green spaces (GSs) management, helping to improve human well-being. In recent years, various methods and strategies were applied to examine the relationship between GSs and environmental sustainability, but so far, no studies on systematic review and empirical assessments were carried out in Saudi Arabian context. Thus, a comprehensive review and assessment of current GSs patterns and planning strategies are important for achieving urban environmental sustainability. This study aims to assess spatial pattern of GSs across the cities and a bibliographic review on the urban greening strategies in the Saudi context. These six urban strategies were further supported from empirical evidence on Saudi cities. Geographical information system (GIS) techniques and questionnaire surveys were performed for spatial mapping of GSs and the perceived role of GSs strategies of the respondent to environmental sustainability across cities. The findings showed that (i) highest PCGS was reported from Dammam (5.4 m2) followed by Riyadh (1.18 m2), and Jeddah (0.5 m2); (ii) most of the respondents use GSs for picnic (59%), mental well-being (53%), and physical activities (47%), respectively; (iii) GSs play a significant role for local climate regulation such as temperature control (78%) and UHI reduction (81%), and GSs provide thermal comfort (84%), respectively; and (iv) 40% respondents do not use GSs due to the lack of availability, accessibility, design, management, and safety of GSs. Thus, such findings of the study surely assist planners and policy makers to understand and implement the suggested GSs strategies to meet the satisfaction level of the respondents as well as to manage GSs at neighborhood and city level for urban environmental sustainability.

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Topics: Urban planning (52%), Sustainability (50%)

2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.2014/IGJ.V53I2.1420
01 Nov 2020-Irish Geography
Abstract: Viveka Guzman1, Marco Garrido-Cumbrera2, Olta Braçe2, Denise Hewlett3 and Ronan Foley*4 1. Division of Population Health, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, D02 YN77, Ireland. 2. Health and Territory Research (HTR), Department of Physical Geography and Regional Geographic Analysis, Universidad de Sevilla, Doña María de Padilla s/n, 41004 Seville, Spain. 3. Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 4NR, United Kingdom. 4. Department of Geography, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, WE23 HW31, Ireland.

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2 Citations


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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/1364557032000119616
Hilary Arksey1, Lisa O'Malley1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This paper focuses on scoping studies, an approach to reviewing the literature which to date has received little attention in the research methods literature. We distinguish between different types of scoping studies and indicate where these stand in relation to full systematic reviews. We outline a framework for conducting a scoping study based on our recent experiences of reviewing the literature on services for carers for people with mental health problems. Where appropriate, our approach to scoping the field is contrasted with the procedures followed in systematic reviews. We emphasize how including a consultation exercise in this sort of study may enhance the results, making them more useful to policy makers, practitioners and service users. Finally, we consider the advantages and limitations of the approach and suggest that a wider debate is called for about the role of the scoping study in relation to other types of literature reviews.

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Topics: Systematic review (53%)

10,345 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.17265/2159-5313/2016.09.003
28 Sep 2016-Philosophy study
Abstract: There has been a shift from the general presumption that “doctor knows best” to a heightened respect for patient autonomy. Medical ethics remains one-sided, however. It tends (incorrectly) to interpret patient autonomy as mere participation in decisions, rather than a willingness to take the consequences. In this respect, medical ethics remains largely paternalistic, requiring doctors to protect patients from the consequences of their decisions. This is reflected in a one-sided account of duties in medical ethics. Medical ethics may exempt patients from obligations because they are the weaker or more vulnerable party in the doctor-patient relationship. We argue that vulnerability does not exclude obligation. We also look at others ways in which patients’ responsibilities flow from general ethics: for instance, from responsibilities to others and to the self, from duties of citizens, and from the responsibilities of those who solicit advice. Finally, we argue that certain duties of patients counterbalance an otherwise unfair captivity of doctors as helpers.

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Topics: Nursing ethics (83%), Medical ethics (65%)

9,859 Citations


Open accessBook
Rachel Kaplan1, Stephen KaplanInstitutions (1)
28 Jul 1989-
Abstract: A study of the natural environment, people, and the relationship between them. The authors offer a research-based analysis of the vital psychological role that nature plays. They try to understand how people perceive nature and what kinds of natural environments they prefer.

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Topics: Nature connectedness (55%), Attention restoration theory (51%), Green exercise (51%) ... show more

4,513 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0272-4944(02)00109-3
Terry Hartig1, Gary W. Evans2, Larry D. Jamner3, Deborah S. Davis3  +1 moreInstitutions (4)
Abstract: We compared psychophysiological stress recovery and directed attention restoration in natural and urban field settings using repeated measures of ambulatory blood pressure, emotion, and attention collected from 112 randomly assigned young adults. To vary restoration needs, we had half of the subjects begin the environmental treatment directly after driving to the field site. The other half completed attentionally demanding tasks just before the treatment. After the drive or the tasks, sitting in a room with tree views promoted more rapid decline in diastolic blood pressure than sitting in a viewless room. Subsequently walking in a nature reserve initially fostered blood pressure change that indicated greater stress reduction than afforded by walking in the urban surroundings. Performance on an attentional test improved slightly from the pretest to the midpoint of the walk in the nature reserve, while it declined in the urban setting. This opened a performance gap that persisted after the walk. Positive affect increased and anger decreased in the nature reserve by the end of the walk; the opposite pattern emerged in the urban environment. The task manipulation affected emotional self-reports. We discuss implications of the results for theories about restorative environments and environmental health promotion measures.

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1,499 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1146/ANNUREV-PUBLHEALTH-032013-182443
Abstract: Urbanization, resource exploitation, and lifestyle changes have diminished possibilities for human contact with nature in many societies. Concern about the loss has helped motivate research on the health benefits of contact with nature. Reviewing that research here, we focus on nature as represented by aspects of the physical environment relevant to planning, design, and policy measures that serve broad segments of urbanized societies. We discuss difficulties in defining “nature” and reasons for the current expansion of the research field, and we assess available reviews. We then consider research on pathways between nature and health involving air quality, physical activity, social cohesion, and stress reduction. Finally, we discuss methodological issues and priorities for future research. The extant research does describe an array of benefits of contact with nature, and evidence regarding some benefits is strong; however, some findings indicate caution is needed in applying beliefs about those benefits,...

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Topics: Nature connectedness (56%), Green exercise (53%)

1,479 Citations


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