Mapping the concept, content, and outcome of family-based outdoor therapy for children and adolescents with mental health problems: a scoping review.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionStea, T. H., Jong, M., Fegran, L., Sejersted, E., Jong, M., Wahlgren, S. L.H. & Fernee, C. R. (2022). Mapping the concept, content, and outcome of family-based outdoor therapy for children and adolescents with mental health problems: a scoping review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), 19 (10), Artikkel 5825. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105825
Outdoor therapy and family-based therapy are suggested to be promising interventions for the treatment of mental health problems. The aim of the present scoping review was to systematically map the concept, content, and outcome of combining family- and outdoor-based therapy for children and adolescents with mental health problems. The Joanna Briggs Institute methodology and PRISMA guidelines were applied. Eligible qualitative and quantitative studies were screened, included, and extracted for data. Seven studies were included. Findings from these studies indicated that family-based outdoor therapy programs have a positive impact on family- and peer relationships, adolescent behavior, mental health, self-perceptions (self-concept), school success, social engagement, and delinquency rates. However, participant characteristics, study design, and content and mode of delivery of the interventions varied substantially, hence preventing detailed comparison of outcomes across studies. In addition, most of the studies included few participants and lacked population diversity and comparable control groups. Although important ethical concerns were raised, such as non-voluntary participation in some of the programs, there was a lack of reporting on safety. This review indicates that a combination of family- and outdoor-based therapy may benefit mental health among children and adolescents, but due to the limited number of studies eligible for inclusion and high levels of heterogeneity, it was difficult to draw firm conclusions. Thus, future theory-based studies using robust designs are warranted.