The potential therapeutic benefits of reading poetry to nursing home residents : the road less travelled?

HEALEY, Joan, HOPKINS, Chris, MCCLIMENS, Alex and PEPLOW, David (2017). The potential therapeutic benefits of reading poetry to nursing home residents : the road less travelled? Journal of Poetry Therapy, 30 (3), 153-165.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/08893675.2017.1328827


In this paper we report on a project to take poetry into a nursing home, building on the widely-held belief in the benefits of poetry in therapeutic settings. This intervention involved us reading poetry aloud in a nursing home and reflecting on how residents reacted to these texts. Our findings suggest that talking about the poetry allowed members of this community to self-reflect and tell narratives that were important to them. Sometimes the poem served as a catalyst, encouraging the disclosure of poignant stories, while at other times the poems seemed incidental to the stories told by the group. Our subsequent reflections also suggested to us that there were several areas that needed further exploration. The poems are not delivered straight to the listener with no mediation; rather, the poems and the discussion afterwards are mediated by both the general expectations and particular interventions of the audience and the facilitators.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Departments: Development and Society > Humanities
Health and Well-being > Nursing and Midwifery
Identification Number: 10.1080/08893675.2017.1328827
Depositing User: Alex Mcclimens
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2017 12:25
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2017 19:17

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