A randomised controlled experiment
Greenery as therapeutic intervention
The sustained causal effects
A randomised controlled trial (RCT) is a prospective, comparative, quantitative experiment performed under controlled conditions with random allocation of interventions to comparison groups. One of RCT’s strengths is its robust response to whether a cause-effect exists between an intervention and an outcome.
Using RCT, Dr Eun Yeong Choe investigated whether the impacts of a commonly used wellbeing intervention are enhanced when combined with the benefits of exposure to a natural environment. Over 100 Participants were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups (mindfulness, relaxation group) under different simulated environmental conditions (two natural, two non-natural environments) during an intervention lasting three weeks. The participants in the mindfulness group were asked to attend a weekly one-hour mindfulness programme. The relaxation group also spent one hour per week on relaxation activities of their choice (e.g. reading books or magazines). Participants’ wellbeing outcomes and nature connectedness were measured before and after the three-week intervention, and at one-week follow-up.
The findings show that the mindfulness programme was more effective when carried out in a natural environment. In addition, the mindfulness group in natural environments continued to improve even after the intervention was completed. This study offers valuable insights into the benefits of combining a wellbeing intervention with exposure to nature.
How to cite:
E. Y. Choe, A. Jorgensen, D. Sheffield (2020). Simulated natural environments bolster the effectiveness of a mindfulness programme: A comparison with a relaxation-based intervention. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 67.