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Can rehabilitation in boreal forests help recovery from exhaustion disorder? The randomised clinical trial ForRest
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Umeå University, Sweden.
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Number of Authors: 6
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, ISSN 0282-7581, E-ISSN 1651-1891, Vol. 30, no 8, 732-748 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Modern society is faced with increasing incidence of mental and behavioural disorders. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether visits to boreal forests can be utilised for rehabilitation from exhaustion disorder (ED). This randomised controlled trial comprised of a forest rehabilitation group (n = 35) and a waiting list group (control group) (n = 43) with subsequent cognitive behavioural rehabilitation (CBR) for all participants in both groups. The recovery from ED was compared between the forest rehabilitation and the control group at baseline, after the forest rehabilitation (3 months), and at the end of the CBR (1 year). Both groups had enhanced recovery from ED after the 3-month intervention period and at the end of the CBR (1 year), and there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of psychological health measures. Mental state, attention capacity and preferences for different forest environments were studied during the forest visits. Mental state was improved, but it showed some seasonal differences. A significant effect on attention capacity was found for single forest visits, but there was no effect found for the rehabilitation period as a whole. The most popular forest environments contained easily accessible, open and bright settings with visible water and/or shelter. Forest rehabilitation did not enhance the recovery from ED compared to the control group, but the participants' well-being was improved after single forest visits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 30, no 8, 732-748 p.
Keyword [en]
burnout, human health, mental disorder, nature-assisted therapy, rehabilitation, restoration, urban forestry
National Category
Psychology Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122237DOI: 10.1080/02827581.2015.1046482ISI: 000361601800011OAI: diva2:866621
Available from: 2015-11-03 Created: 2015-10-28 Last updated: 2015-11-03Bibliographically approved

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