Perspect Nurs Sci.  2014 Apr;11(1):10-17.

An Analysis of Health Promotion Programs Utilizing Forests based on Korea's Regional Healthcare Program Plans

  • 1Professor, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Phd Student, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Master student, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


The aim of this study was to analyze health promotion programs utilizing forests by reviewing regional healthcare program plans in Korea.
We analyzed 227 regional healthcare program plans from 2011 to 2014; seven health promotion programs of the 16 major healthcare programs were prescribed by public health law.
Our analysis revealed that only 35 health promotion programs from 29 sites were utilizing forests. Furthermore, of 21 known categories of health promotion programs, only nine incorporated the use of forests. Atopy-asthma healthcare programs were the most common forest health promotion programs, which also included specialized disease management programs (e.g., for atopy prevention and healing, patients with metabolic syndrome or cancer) and specialized mental health management programs (e.g., for addiction or dementia prevention). Others included programs on the development of forest roads or industrial development using forest products.
Health programs using forests in Korea are still very limited and primarily comprise atopy-asthma prevention/management, health behavioral change, and mental health programs. This study provided useful information for developing health policies and forest health promotion programs further in Korea.


Regional health planning; Forest program; Health promotion; Community healthcare program development
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