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Is group reading of benefit to people with mental health problems?

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29 October, 2012
  • Article: McLauglin S, Colbourn S (2012) A reading group in acute mental healthcare. Nursing Times; 108: 44, 14-15.

Key points

  • The Reader Organisation works in healthcare to share great literature with patients and staff
  • One trust has piloted readings of stories and poems to patients with acute mental health problems
  • The 90-minute “read aloud” sessions encourage patients to interrupt and share life experiences
  • Participants in the sessions engaged with the content of the text and with each other
  • The sessions were a good example of collaborative working between healthcare and the third sector

Let’s discuss

  • Think about what you get from reading. Outline why you read and what you gain from the process.
  • What are the benefits of group reading for people with mental health problems?
  • If you were going to set up a group reading scheme how would you advertise it to patients?
  • How would you measure its effectiveness?
  • Could the principles of group reading but used in other clinical specialties? Give examples.

You can email questions to or tweet @eileenshepherd

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Readers' comments (2)

  • this is nothing new, we did this 20 years ago when I worked in mental health.

    the nhs just seems like an endless merry-go-round.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Thanks for your comment - I would like to hear more about this as we are about to start another group with a link to our local library. Have you more information about what went well when you did this?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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