The Effects of Park-Based Interventions on Health-Related Outcomes Among Youth: A Systematic Review Public Deposited

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  • Objective The purpose of the study is to present a comprehensive systematic review of the effects of park-based interventions on health outcomes among youth, defined as children and adolescents. Data Source Web of Science, MEDLINE, and Scopus databases searched through November 2020.Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria Interventions conducted in publicly accessible parks that evaluated health outcomes (i.e., physical, mental, and emotional); focused on children and adolescents (up to 18 years old, or up to 22 years old for individuals with developmental needs); and was published in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Data Extraction Two independent reviewers extracted data and assessed the quality of the 15 included studies using the Guide to Community Preventive Services tool. Data Synthesis Descriptive summary of study characteristics and summarized methodological quality of the studies. Results Twelve studies were person-based interventions involving the evaluation of health outcome changes in cohorts, and the remaining studies were park-based, focused on changing the park environment and observing changes in youth participation in parks. All identified interventions were positively associated with individual-level and park-level outcomes ranging from body weight, moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity, park utilization, and health behavior knowledge. Conclusions This systematic review demonstrated that parks as sites of interventions can provide an environment that promotes health and wellbeing for youth. Nevertheless, the number of relevant studies were limited, thus it is important to leverage and expand on existing knowledge of the utility of parks as sites of intervention to address health concerns at this critical juncture of the life course.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Rights holder
  • SAGE Publications
  • Attribution 4.0 International
Journal title
  • American Journal of Health Promotion
Journal volume
  • 36
Journal issue
  • 6
Page start
  • 1029
Page end
  • 1044
  • National Cancer Institute
  • 0890-1171
Copyright date
  • SAGE Publications

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