Nature-based interventions in institutional and organisational settings: a scoping review

The objective of this review was to scope the literature on nature-based interventions that could be conducted in institutional settings where people reside full-time for care or rehabilitation purposes. Systematic searches were conducted across CINAHL, Medline, Criminal Justice Abstracts, PsycINFO, Scopus, Social Care Online and Cochrane CENTRAL. A total of 85 studies (reported in 86 articles) were included. Four intervention modalities were identified: Gardening/therapeutic horticulture; animal-assisted therapies; care farming and virtual reality-based simulations of natural environments. The interventions were conducted across a range of settings, including inpatient wards, care homes, prisons and women’s shelters. Generally, favourable impacts were seen across intervention types, although the reported effects varied widely. There is a growing body of literature on nature-based interventions that could be applied to a variety of institutional settings. Within most intervention types, there is sufficient research data available to perform full systematic reviews. Recommendations for future systematic reviews are offered.