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The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether Shared Reading (SR), a specific literature-based intervention, is transposable to a prison context and whether mental…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether Shared Reading (SR), a specific literature-based intervention, is transposable to a prison context and whether mental health benefits identified in other custodial and non-custodial settings were reported by women prisoners.
In all, 35 participants were recruited within an all-female maximum security prison and attended one of two weekly reading groups. Qualitative data were collected through researcher observation of the reading groups; interviews and focus group discussions with participants and prison staff; interviews with the project worker leading the reading groups; and a review of records kept by the latter during group sessions.
Attendance rates were good, with nearly half of the participants voluntarily present at =60 per cent of sessions. Two intrinsic psychological processes associated with the SR experience were provisionally identified, “memory and continuities” and “mentalisation”, both of which have therapeutic implications for the treatment of conditions like depression and personality disorder.
Limitations included the small sample, lack of control for confounding variables, and constraints imposed on data collection by the custodial setting.
Although more controlled research is required, the findings indicate that women prisoners will voluntarily engage with SR if given appropriate support, and that the intervention has potential to augment psychological processes that are associated with increased well-being.
Although there is a growing evidence base for the value of psychosocial and arts-based strategies for enhancing well-being amongst adults living with dementia, relatively…
Although there is a growing evidence base for the value of psychosocial and arts-based strategies for enhancing well-being amongst adults living with dementia, relatively little attention has been paid to literature-based interventions. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of shared reading (SR) groups, a programme developed and implemented by The Reader Organisation, on quality of life for care home residents with mild/moderate dementia.
In total, 31 individuals were recruited from four care homes, which were randomly assigned to either reading-waiting groups (three months reading, followed by three months no reading) or waiting-reading groups (three months no reading, followed by three months reading). Quality of life was assessed by the DEMQOL-Proxy and psychopathological symptoms were assessed by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire.
Compared to the waiting condition, the positive effects of SR on quality of life were demonstrated at the commencement of the reading groups and were maintained once the activity ended. Low levels of baseline symptoms prevented analyses on whether the intervention impacted on the clinical signs of dementia.
Limitations included the small sample and lack of control for confounding variables.
The therapeutic potential of reading groups is discussed as a positive and practical intervention for older adults living with dementia.