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Evidence for the Salutary Effects of Nature-Based Interventions (NBI) for Clinical and Public Health Practice

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2023) | Viewed by 8364

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, 1810 Hinman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
Interests: salutary effects of high quality green and blue spaces; nature as an environmental determinate of health and the contributions of natural landscapes health, wellbeing, and resilience of humans
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue solicits reports of studies that use empirical methods or provide other high-quality evidence that tests hypotheses about nature-based interventions and their impact on health outcomes. The purpose of this Special Issue is to facilitate the transfer of information from basic researchers to practitioners who wish to incorporate NBIs into their practice to improve the health outcomes of individuals and populations. 

This Special Issue serves as a second edition of “Evidence for Incorporating Green Exercise into Clinical and Public Health Practice” published in 2019. Since 2019, scientific evidence supporting the salutary role of nature to humans has increased and become increasingly rich in discussions of who benefits and under what conditions; evidence that has only increased in the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence indicates that salutary effects of access to nature can be gained through both passive and active engagement, but that not everyone benefits equally. Additionally, salutary effects can be derived not only from highly vegetated “green” spaces, but also from areas dominated by water bodies (blue spaces), or primarily geological features (e.g., deserts which are increasingly referred to as “red spaces”). Thus, the title of the second edition has been modified to reflect a more inclusive view of nature, equity of access, and the variety of nature-based interventions (NBI) and their impact on health outcomes.

Dr. Teresa Horton
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • how the environment influences human health and wellbeing
  • negative effects of the environment on health (e.g., brownfields, air pollution, lead contamination)
  • salutary effects of high-quality green and blue spaces

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 1128 KiB  
Article
Nature Immersion in an Extreme Environment: Hiroshima Survivors’ Personal Emergence Following Their Atomic Bomb Experience
by Misako Nagata, Mio Ito, Ryutaro Takahashi, Chie Nishimura and Patricia Liehr
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15894; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315894 - 29 Nov 2022
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Abstract
Introduction: Nature immersion is defined as multidimensional connecting with earthy materials to generate personal emergence. Personal emergence is an embodied healing force observable via synchronization of bodily rhythms. Research has revealed positive effects of green space for healing. However, little is known about [...] Read more.
Introduction: Nature immersion is defined as multidimensional connecting with earthy materials to generate personal emergence. Personal emergence is an embodied healing force observable via synchronization of bodily rhythms. Research has revealed positive effects of green space for healing. However, little is known about healing of survivors in the space impacted with radioactive nuclear energies. Purpose: To use the theory of nature immersion to guide exploration of the concepts of connecting with earthy materials, personal emergence and space-time expansion in a sample of people who had experienced the catastrophic nature upheaval of the Hiroshima bombings on 6 August 1945. Method: A descriptive exploratory design with directed content analysis was used with existing qualitative data consisting of 29 Hiroshima atomic-bombing survivors’ description of their experience. Results: Self-healing empirically manifested through 23 survivors’ connection with earthy materials. There was synchrony between recuperating natural space and healing of survivors. Conclusions: Synchrony, as a dimension of human connection with nature, transcended the disharmony of bombing upheaval. Although further exploration is necessary, these findings serve as evidence about the essence of healing as related to nature for those in extreme environments. Full article
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Review

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22 pages, 1308 KiB  
Review
Greenspace, Inflammation, Cardiovascular Health, and Cancer: A Review and Conceptual Framework for Greenspace in Cardio-Oncology Research
by Jean C. Bikomeye, Andreas M. Beyer, Jamila L. Kwarteng and Kirsten M. M. Beyer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042426 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5540
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Cancer survivors have significantly elevated risk of poor cardiovascular (CV) health outcomes due to close co-morbid linkages and shared risk factors between CVD and cancer, as well as adverse effects of [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Cancer survivors have significantly elevated risk of poor cardiovascular (CV) health outcomes due to close co-morbid linkages and shared risk factors between CVD and cancer, as well as adverse effects of cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity. CVD and cancer-related outcomes are exacerbated by increased risk of inflammation. Results from different pharmacological interventions aimed at reducing inflammation and risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) have been largely mixed to date. Greenspaces have been shown to reduce inflammation and have been associated with CV health benefits, including reduced CVD behavioral risk factors and overall improvement in CV outcomes. Greenspace may, thus, serve to alleviate the CVD burden among cancer survivors. To understand pathways through which greenspace can prevent or reduce adverse CV outcomes among cancer survivors, we review the state of knowledge on associations among inflammation, CVD, cancer, and existing pharmacological interventions. We then discuss greenspace benefits for CV health from ecological to multilevel studies and a few existing experimental studies. Furthermore, we review the relationship between greenspace and inflammation, and we highlight forest bathing in Asian-based studies while presenting existing research gaps in the US literature. Then, we use the socioecological model of health to present an expanded conceptual framework to help fill this US literature gap. Lastly, we present a way forward, including implications for translational science and a brief discussion on necessities for virtual nature and/or exposure to nature images due to the increasing human–nature disconnect; we also offer guidance for greenspace research in cardio-oncology to improve CV health outcomes among cancer survivors. Full article
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