Shared Reading: assessing the intrinsic value of a literature-based health intervention

Longden, Eleanor, Davis, Philip, Billington, Josie ORCID: 0000-0002-0632-612X, Lampropoulou, Sofia ORCID: 0000-0001-9072-1394, Farrington, Grace, Magee, Fiona, Walsh, Erin and Corcoran, Rhiannon ORCID: 0000-0001-8900-9199
(2015) Shared Reading: assessing the intrinsic value of a literature-based health intervention. Medical Humanities, 41 (02). pp. 113-120.

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Public health strategies have placed increasing emphasis on psychosocial and arts-based strategies for promoting well-being. This study presents preliminary findings for a specific literary-based intervention, Shared Reading, which provides community-based spaces in which individuals can relate with both literature and one another. A 12-week crossover design was conducted with 16 participants to compare benefits associated with six sessions of Shared Reading versus a comparison social activity, Built Environment workshops. Data collected included quantitative self-report measures of psychological well-being, as well as transcript analysis of session recordings and individual video-assisted interviews. Qualitative findings indicated five intrinsic benefits associated with Shared Reading: liveness, creative inarticulacy, the emotional, the personal and the group (or collective identity construction). Quantitative data additionally showed that the intervention is associated with enhancement of a sense of ‘Purpose in Life’. Limitations of the study included the small sample size and ceiling effects created by generally high levels of psychological well-being at baseline. The therapeutic potential of reading groups is discussed, including the distinction between instrumental and intrinsic value within arts-and-health interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Chronic Disease, Cross-Over Studies, Sample Size, Emotions, Interpersonal Relations, Mental Health, Cognition, Thinking, Qualitative Research, Quality of Life, Literature, Reading, Adult, Middle Aged, Vulnerable Populations, Health Promotion, Female, Male, United Kingdom
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 13:32
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:33
DOI: 10.1136/medhum-2015-010704
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