• An Evaluation of Shared Reading Groups for Adults Living with Dementia: Preliminary Findings

      Longden, Eleanor; Davis, Philip; Carroll, Janine; Billington, Josie; Kinderman, Peter; CRILS (Davis, P and Billington, J), The University of Liverpool (Longden, E and Kinderman, P) and The University of Chester (Carroll, J) (Emerald, 2016-06-20)
      Purpose – Although there is a growing evidence base for the value of psychosocial and arts based strategies for enhancing wellbeing amongst adults living with dementia, relatively little attention has been paid to literature-based interventions. This service evaluation assesses 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. Design/methodology/approach – Thirty one 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 DEMQOLProxy and psychopathological symptoms were assessed by the NPI-Q. Findings – 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 – Limitations included the small sample and lack of control for confounding variables. Originality/value – The therapeutic potential of reading groups is discussed as a positive and practical intervention for older adults living with dementia.
    • Exploring thematic Nightmare content and associated self-harm risk

      Hochard, Kevin D.; Ashcroft, Sam; Carroll, Janine; Heym, Nadja; Townsend, Ellen; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University; University of Nottingham (Wiley, 2017-09-28)
      Nightmares have been shown to be robust predictors of self-harm risk, beyond depressive symptoms and hopelessness at times. However, few studies have investigated associations between nightmare content and increased self-harm risk. The present study explored associations of thematic nightmare content with history of self-harm, and risk of self-harm phenomena the morning following a nightmare. A mixed-method diary study was employed. Prospective nightmare reports were obtained from 72 participants. A total of 47 nightmare reports met inclusion criteria and were analyzed for themes using inductive thematic analysis. Chi-square and bootstrap Pearson’s correlation tests were performed to assess the associations between nightmare themes and self-harm history and risk of self-harm phenomena following a nightmare. ‘Powerlessness to Change Behavior’ was associated a history of self-harm engagement, whereas ‘Financial Hardship’ indicated reduced risk. Themes were not significantly associated with increased risk of self-harm phenomena following a nightmare. Content may be of use in detecting lifetime history of self-harm engagement particularly in populations where disclosure is seen as taboo. However, nightmare symptom severity remains better indicators of risk. Evidence for the utility of nightmare content in assessing immediate self-harm risk is presently lacking. Replication with increased power is recommended.