What are the health and well-being impacts of community gardening for adults and children: a mixed method systematic review protocol
Lovell, R; Husk, K; Bethel, A; et al.Garside, R
Date: 7 October 2014
BioMed Central Ltd
Background Community gardening is defined by its shared nature; gardeners work collectively to manage a garden for shared benefit. Although communal gardening activities, and recognition of their perceived benefits have a long history, it is in recent years that interest has developed in assessing the potential of the approach to ...
Background Community gardening is defined by its shared nature; gardeners work collectively to manage a garden for shared benefit. Although communal gardening activities, and recognition of their perceived benefits have a long history, it is in recent years that interest has developed in assessing the potential of the approach to address many of the threats to health and wellbeing faced by global populations. Community gardening may address chronic and non-communicable disease through the provision of opportunities for physical activity, improved nutrition and reduced stress. Participation in the gardening activities may improve wellbeing through increased social contact, culturally valued activities and mitigation of food poverty. The benefits of community gardening are argued to extend beyond the participants themselves through more coherent and cohesive communities, improved physical environments and the sharing of the products of the labour. While there are many claims made and an emerging body of research, no previous systematic review has sought to identify and synthesise the evidence in a global context. Methods The objectives of the mixed method systematic review are to understand the health and wellbeing impacts of active participation in community gardening. Both quantitative and qualitative evidence will be sought using a broad and diverse search strategy to address the four review questions: 1) does active involvement in community gardening lead to improved health or wellbeing; 2) if so, how does active involvement in community gardening affect health and wellbeing; 3) are there different impacts for different population groups (for instance according to age, socio-economic status or sex); and 4) do different types of community gardening (for example producing vegetables or a flower garden) or in different contexts have different types of impacts? A theoretical framework, informed by an initial theory of change model, will illustrate the outcomes of participation and any mechanisms of action (i.e. how such impacts are achieved). The synthesis will be sensitive to factors which may affect the impacts, such as the context of the activities, the demographics of participants, and the implementation and specifics of the community gardening interventions.
Institute of Health Research
College of Medicine and Health
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