Document Type


Publication Date



School of Public Health


Social and Behavioral Sciences



Nature provides an array of health benefits, and recent decades have seen a resurgence in nature-based interventions (NBI). While NBI have shown promise in addressing health needs, the wide variety of intervention approaches create difficulty in understanding the efficacy of NBI as a whole. This scoping review will (1) identify the different nomenclature used to define NBI, (2) describe the interventions used and the contexts in which they occurred and (3) describe the methodologies and measurement tools used in NBI studies.

Methods and analysis

Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols Extension for Scoping Reviews, four databases will be searched (PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global) as well as cross-referencing for published and unpublished (masters theses and dissertations) studies on NBI in humans. Eligible studies must employ intervention or observational designs, and an English-language abstract will be required. Database searches will occur from inception up to the date of the search. Animal-based therapies and virtual-reality therapies involving simulated nature will be excluded. Independent dual screening and data abstraction will be conducted. Results will be analysed qualitatively as well as with simple descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages).

Ethics and dissemination

Since this is a scoping review of previously published summary data, ethical approval for this study is not needed. Findings will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. This protocol has been registered with Open Science Framework (

Source Citation

Moyers SI, Abildso CG, Kelley GA. Context, classification and study methodologies in research into nature-based therapies: protocol for a scoping review. BMJ Open2022;12:e060734. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-060734


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

This article received support from the WVU Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.



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