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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

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Branching Out : the impact of a mental health ecotherapy programme

Wilson, Neil and Jones, Russell and Fleming, Susan and Lafferty, Kevin and Knifton, Lee and Catherine, Kirsty and McNish, Hugh (2011) Branching Out : the impact of a mental health ecotherapy programme. Ecopsychology, 3 (1). pp. 51-57.

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Abstract

Branching Out is a national-award-winning program developed by The Forestry Commission Scotland and The National Health Service. For each client, the program consists of 3 hrs of ecotherapy per week in outdoor woodland settings. Clients work together in small groups of 6–12 for a 12-week period. The program was evaluated using a repeated measures design. The independent variable was “attendance of the program,” of which there were two levels. The dependent variables were scores on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS), the SF-12v2TM Health Survey, and the Scottish Physical Activity Questionnaire (SPAQ). Repeated measures t-tests were used to examine pre- to postchange in the dependent variables. There were no significant differences between the pre- and post-WEMWBS or SF-12v2TM Health Survey scores, indicating that attendance of Branching Out did not have any significant effect on mental well-being or general health. Attendance of Branching Out significantly improved physical activity levels as evidenced by significantly higher postintervention SPAQ scores from baseline. The implications for practice are discussed.