The Reader Organisation’s research partner, the Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) at the University of Liverpool, seeks to set the world agenda in:
This study, conducted through a partnership between researchers from CRILS, HMP Low Newton, Durham, and The Reader Organisation, and funded by the National Personality Disorder Team (Department of Health), assesses how the benefits of Get Into Reading as a literature-based intervention that have been observed in other custodial contexts and non-custodial mental health settings have transferred to a female prison.
The study found that there were four significant areas of improved wellbeing to female prisoners taking part in shared reading:
Funded by the Headley Trust, the conclusions of a six-month study found that a literature-based intervention provided by Get Into Reading produces a significant reduction in dementia symptoms and benefits the quality of life of both the residents and staff-carers.
The quantitative and qualitative research also found that short and long-term memory was positively influenced, listening skills were improved and the provision of activity by an external organisation enhanced patient care.
This one-year research study concluded that shared reading groups helped patients suffering from depression in terms of their social, mental, emotional and psychological well-being. It found that there were four significant ‘mechanisms of action’ involved in the reading group intervention, three of which were essential to its success, the fourth influential:
The report also established what types of literature work, why they work and how they work in the specific context of depressive illness.
This pioneering research seeks to demonstrate how challenging literature can ‘shift mental pathways’. The most recent findings of monitored brain activity in volunteers reading works by Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Eliot produced significant electrical activity in the areas of the brain connected to language, memory and emotion, compared to ‘straightforward’ translations of the text which produced less. This makes it possible to suggest that great literature may have real therapeutic value. Read an article about this work in The Daily Telegraph
Two weekly Get Into Reading groups for those suffering from chronic pain – one in hospital, one in the community – have been set up to investigate the effects that a reading intervention might have for sufferers of chronic pain. This study has been funded by DCMS and Mersey Care NHS Trust.
A collaboration between University of Liverpool, Exeter and Glamorgan in partnership with The Reader Organisation and the Young Foundation (funded by the AHRC), the study will offer analytical studies of flagship community arts practices, including Get Into Reading, resulting in a special issue of the Journal of Arts and Communities in 2013.
Building on the University of Liverpool’s groundbreaking MA Reading in Practice, the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award partners us with CRILS and Mersey Care NHS Trust, this pioneering project explores the existing theoretical foundations for the practice of bibliotherapy, or ‘reading as cure’, in English literature.
This report, by the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, uses a social return on investment analysis (SROI) to assess the impact of Get Into Reading on the health and wellbeing of participants. The evaluation found that, for every £1 invested in Get Into Reading, a social return average of £6.47 was generated.
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