Of Dodo birds and common factors: A scoping review of direct comparison trials in adventure therapy

Will W. Dobud, Nevin J. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adventure therapy (AT) is a term that includes therapies such as wilderness therapy and adventure-based counseling. With growing empirical support for AT, the diversity of studies make it difficult to attribute outcomes to specific treatment factors. Objectives: Researchers explored whether AT, often perceived as an alternative therapy, works because of AT's unique components, or whether factors shared by all therapies were responsible. Methods: A scoping review was undertaken utilizing a search of major databases, unpublished dissertations, and a hand search for direct comparison trials matching AT with another therapeutic intervention. Results: 881 publications were identified. 105 quantitative studies were included following a title and abstract review. Only 13 met the full inclusion criteria. Little to no differences were found to isolate specific therapeutic factors. Conclusions: We discuss the implications of these results considering the movement toward evidence-based practice and recommend future research to eclipse our current understanding of AT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-24
Number of pages9
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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