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Table 1 Characteristics of included studies

From: The role of nature in cancer patients' lives: a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis

First author (year) country (ref) Discipline Sample size, n Participants [ages] Methodological approach Data collection Focus
Blair (2013) US [43] Nutrition Science / Oncology 12 Survivors mixed diagnosis [adult mean = 56 yrs., children mean = 10 yrs] Not stated Semi-structured telephone survey To explore the feasibility and effects of a vegetable gardening intervention pairing 12 adult and child cancer survivors with Master Gardeners.
Butterfield (2014) UK [28] Doctoral thesis in Arts 88 Mixed diagnosis
[not stated]
Ethnography Interviews (20 min) post photo-elicitation, open-ended online survey To explore experiences of cancer care centres’ gardens and how these support quality of care and a sense of wellbeing.
English (2008) Canada [54] Public health 14 Breast cancer patients at various stages
[30–65 yrs]
Grounded Theory Semi-structured in-depth interviews To explore the ways in which environments contribute to healing and recovery from breast cancer.
Pascal (2010) Australia [55] Public health 15 Breast cancer patients at various stages
[35–70 yrs]
Hermeneutic phenomenology In-depth interviews To explore how therapeutic landscapes shape the experiences of living with cancer.
Ray (2013) Canada [44] Community health 15 Breast cancer survivors
[14 of 15 participants were 50 yrs. or older]
Content analysis Semi-structured interviews To explore breast cancer survivors’ lived experience of dragon-boating and how it influences health-related quality of life.
Rowlands (2008) UK [11] Palliative care 12 Advanced cancer inpatients [25–65 yrs] Phenomenology Semi-structured interviews To explore the views of advanced cancer patients about the effect of the ward environment on their overall well-being.
Spees (2015) Canada [45] Health and rehab 28 Survivors
[35–83 yrs]
Thematic analysis Focus group To explore perceptions of health behaviour change in cancer survivors following an urban gardening program.
Stevens (2004) Canada [13] Nursing and medicine 11 Adolescent cancer patients [ages not given] Naturalistic Videotaped interviews during expedition To explore adolescent cancer patients’ experiences in an adventure therapy program from a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) perspective.
Unruh (2000) US [46] Occupational therapy 3 Breast cancer patients
[35–57 yrs]
Thematic analysis Semi-structured interviews To explore the meaning of gardening for three breast cancer patients using attention restoration theory.
Unruh (2002) US [40] Occupational therapy 18 / 42 Mixed cancer diagnosis / other chronic disease
[32–80 yrs]
Phenomenology Semi-structured interviews To explore the meaning of gardens and gardening in the lives of people with serious health problems.
Unruh (2011) US [41] Health and human performance 15 / 42 Mixed cancer diagnosis / other chronic disease
[32–80 yrs]
Hermeneutic phenomenology Semi-structured interviews To explore the meaning of gardens and gardening as a lived experience of leisure gardening amongst people with serious health problems, chronic and progressive disease.