Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Short-term Psychological Effects of Forest Therapy: Early Evidence in Italy

Version 1 : Received: 19 May 2021 / Approved: 20 May 2021 / Online: 20 May 2021 (11:22:20 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

1. Meneguzzo, F.; Albanese, L.; Antonelli, M.; Baraldi, R.; Becheri, F. R.; Centritto, F.; Donelli, D.; Finelli, F.; Firenzuoli, F.; Margheritini, G.; Maggini, V.; Nardini, S.; Regina, M.; Zabini, F.; Neri, L. Short-Term Effects of Forest Therapy on Mood States: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9509, doi:10.3390/IJERPH18189509. 1. Meneguzzo, F.; Albanese, L.; Antonelli, M.; Baraldi, R.; Becheri, F. R.; Centritto, F.; Donelli, D.; Finelli, F.; Firenzuoli, F.; Margheritini, G.; Maggini, V.; Nardini, S.; Regina, M.; Zabini, F.; Neri, L. Short-Term Effects of Forest Therapy on Mood States: A Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9509, doi:10.3390/IJERPH18189509.

Journal reference: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2021, 18, 9509
DOI: 10.3390/IJERPH18189509

Abstract

Immersion in forest environments was shown to produce beneficial effects to human health, in particular psychophysical relaxation, so much that this practice is increasingly recognized as a form of integrative medicine. Limited evidence exists about both statistical significance and size of the effects conditioned on personal characteristics, as well as on the main external variables. The primary purpose of this study was to substantiate the very concept of forest therapy by means of the quantification and significance of the psychological effects, stratified by gender, age groups and place of residence. A preliminary qualitative analysis of the main determinants, in particular the method of conducting, the meteorological comfort and the concentration of volatile organic compounds in the forest atmosphere, was afforded. Seven forest therapy sessions were performed in late summer though early fall, resulting in 150 psychological self-assessment questionnaires administered before and after each session. The results were comparable or even better than others reported in the international literature. Moreover, preliminary evidence arose about different functionality towards specific psychological indexes conditioned at least on gender and age groups, as well as meteorological comfort, structured programs and, possibly, volatile organic compounds showed an impact on the outcomes.

Keywords

anger; anxiety; confusion; depression; fatigue; forest therapy; mental health; vigor; volatile organic compounds

Subject

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, Applied Psychology

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