Question: For people of any age with any mental health condition, how effective is gardening/horticulture compared to any other intervention, for improving patient outcomes?


Plain language summary

We don't currently have enough high-quality evidence to be clear about how helpful gardening/horticulture can be for mental health conditions. One small trial showed promising results for severe mental health conditions (mainly schizophrenia), but it's unclear how reliable these results are

Clinical and research implications

Only one systematic review containing one small randomised controlled trial (RCT) was found for this question. As the review concluded, the lack of evidence means it is not possible to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of horticultural therapy for people with schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses (schizoaffective, schizophreniform or bipolar disorder, major depression or unspecified psychosis). Therefore no firm clinical implications can be drawn from the available evidence. More large high quality RCTs are needed to evaluate the effects of horticulture across the wider mental health spectrum.

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