Well-Being Benefits of Horticulture-Based Activities for Community Dwelling People with Dementia: A Systematic Review

Theresa L. Scott, Ying Ling Jao, Kristen Tulloch, Eloise Yates, Oliver Kenward, Nancy A. Pachana

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Most people living with dementia in the early-to-middle stages live in the community or in their own homes and engagement in enjoyable activities is fundamental to maintaining quality of life and autonomy. Horticulture-based activities are beneficial for the health and well-being for people living with dementia (“PLWD”) in residential care settings, yet evidence within community settings, where the majority live, has not been comprehensively synthesized. A mixed studies systematic review protocol was registered and a systematic search conducted to June 2022 across MEDLINE, COCHRANE, Web of Science, Embase, Psycnet, CINAHL, PsycINFO databases, using terms relating to dementia and horticulture. Original studies examining group or individual horticulture-based programs for community-dwelling PLWD were included. Forty-five articles were selected for full review, eight met inclusion criteria and were retained for data extraction. Evidence from three mixed methods, two quantitative, two qualitative, and one case study design, involving a total of 178 community dwelling PLWD, was narratively summarized. Findings revealed that involvement in horticulture-based activities led to positive impacts on engagement, social interactions, and mental and physical well-being in PLWD. No conclusive evidence was found from included studies for improvement in cognitive function. As most studies to date have concentrated on PLWD in long-term care settings, future research should evaluate the effect of these types of activities in a more rigorous intervention design in community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10523
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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