Could Nature Contribute to the Management of ADHD in Children? A Systematic Review

Maddison Hood, Oliver Baumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that is typically managed with pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. In the general population, exposure to nature has been found to have robust beneficial effects on cognitive performance, including attention. With inattention being a factor of the symptomatology of individuals with ADHD, this provides a rationale to investigate the potential benefits of exposure to nature for this population. Four electronic databases (PubMED, PsycINFO, Embase, and Web of Science) were searched for empirical studies investigating the effects of nature on ADHD prevalence and/or symptom severity in populations of school-aged children. Key characteristics, methodologies, and outcomes of included studies were extracted and evaluated. Out of the 458 studies identified, 7 met the inclusion criteria. Despite the large heterogeneity in methodological approaches, the included articles consistently reported that exposure to nature is associated with reduced ADHD diagnoses and symptom severity. Furthermore, when several covariates, such as age, gender, annual household income, parental income, and education level, as well as several pre-natal factors, were controlled for, the relationship between nature and ADHD remained significant. The reviewed literature provides strong support for the benefits of exposure to nature on ADHD in school-aged children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number736
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2024

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