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Review

Effect of Forest Therapy on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1
Department of Forest Sciences, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28644, Korea
2
Graduated Department of Forest Therapy, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju 28644, Korea
3
National Center for Forest Therapy, Yeongju 36043, Korea
4
Korea Forest Therapy Forum Incorporated Association, Cheongju 28644, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12685; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312685
Received: 14 October 2021 / Revised: 26 November 2021 / Accepted: 27 November 2021 / Published: 1 December 2021
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to summarize the effects of forest therapy on depression and anxiety using data obtained from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies. We searched SCOPUS, PubMed, MEDLINE(EBSCO), Web of science, Embase, Korean Studies Information Service System, Research Information Sharing Service, and DBpia to identify relevant studies published from January 1990 to December 2020 and identified 20 relevant studies for the synthesis. The methodological quality of eligible primary studies was assessed by ROB 2.0 and ROBINS-I. Most primary studies were conducted in the Republic of Korea except for one study in Poland. Overall, forest therapy significantly improved depression (Hedges’s g = 1.133; 95% confidence interval (CI): −1.491 to −0.775) and anxiety (Hedges’s g = 1.715; 95% CI: −2.519 to −0.912). The quality assessment resulted in five RCTs that raised potential concerns in three and high risk in two. Fifteen quasi-experimental studies raised high for nine quasi-experimental studies and moderate for six studies. In conclusion, forest therapy is preventive management and non-pharmacologic treatment to improve depression and anxiety. However, the included studies lacked methodological rigor and required more comprehensive geographic application. Future research needs to determine optimal forest characteristics and systematic activities that can maximize the improvement of depression and anxiety. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest therapy; depression; anxiety; meta-analysis forest therapy; depression; anxiety; meta-analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yeon, P.-S.; Jeon, J.-Y.; Jung, M.-S.; Min, G.-M.; Kim, G.-Y.; Han, K.-M.; Shin, M.-J.; Jo, S.-H.; Kim, J.-G.; Shin, W.-S. Effect of Forest Therapy on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 12685. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312685

AMA Style

Yeon P-S, Jeon J-Y, Jung M-S, Min G-M, Kim G-Y, Han K-M, Shin M-J, Jo S-H, Kim J-G, Shin W-S. Effect of Forest Therapy on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(23):12685. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312685

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yeon, Poung-Sik, Jin-Young Jeon, Myeong-Seo Jung, Gyeong-Min Min, Ga-Yeon Kim, Kyung-Mi Han, Min-Ja Shin, Seong-Hee Jo, Jin-Gun Kim, and Won-Sop Shin. 2021. "Effect of Forest Therapy on Depression and Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 23: 12685. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312685

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