Economic Evaluation of Nature-Based Therapy Interventions—A Scoping Review

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Introduction: Nature-based therapy (NBT) has shown positive effects on different health-related outcomes and is becoming a more frequent approach in various rehabilitative interventions. Economic evaluations are widely used to inform decision makers of cost-effective interventions. However, economic evaluations of NBT have not yet been reviewed. The aim of this review was to uncover existing types and characteristics of economic evaluations in the field of nature-based therapeutic interventions. Methods: In this scoping review available knowledge about the topic was mapped. A comprehensive search of selected databases (MEDLINE; EMBASE; CINAHL; Scopus; Cochrane; PSYCinfo; Web of Science) and grey literature was conducted in November 2021. Data was synthesised in a thematic presentation. Results: Three papers met the inclusion criteria, containing differences in design, types and dose of nature-based therapeutic interventions, outcome measures and target groups (n = 648). The papers showed tendencies toward a good treatment effect and positive economic effect in favour of NBT. Conclusions: Three different cohort studies have tried calculating the economic impact of NBT indicating a good effect of the NBT. The evidence on the economic benefits of NBT is still sparse though promising, bearing the limitations of the studies in mind. Economic evaluation of NBT is a new area needing more research, including high-quality research studies where the economic evaluation model is included/incorporated from the beginning of the study design. This will enhance the credibility and usefulness to policy makers and clinicians.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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