Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fiction reading as medicine

Date:
October 21, 2013
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Fiction reading can be viewed as a considerable factor in the rehabilitation process for persons on sick leave. This is the conclusion of a new interdisciplinary study on sick-listed women’s experiences with fiction reading to improve their health, so-called bibliotherapy.

Fiction reading can be viewed as a considerable factor in the rehabilitation process for persons on sick leave. This is the conclusion of a new interdisciplinary study from the University of Gothenburg on sick-listed women's experiences with fiction reading to improve their health, so-called bibliotherapy.

The two researchers Lena Mårtensson, PhD and registred occupational therapist, and Cecilia Pettersson, PhD and literary scholar, interviewed eight women of working age who had been sick-listed for 4-36 months about their experiences with fiction reading during sick leave.

'Fiction reading is a meaningful activity that the sick-listed women initiated on their own , and it strengthened their ability to take part in everyday activities,' says Mårtensson.

The study shows that the reading relates to an outer, concrete reality and to an inner, more subjectively perceived experience. At a concrete level, the reading helped the women regain their capacity and structure in everyday life. The reading also contributed to a positive self-image and self-understanding via the subjective experience, as well as provided a private space for recovery.

All women in the study had always had an earlier interest in reading. However, many of them indicated that, when first becoming sick-listed, they reduced their reading or had no energy to read at all.

'Once they returned to reading, most of them chose popular fiction such as chick-lit and books reminding them of their own situation. As they gradually felt better, they increasingly returned to the type of literature they had read in the past,' says Pettersson.

The women described many different approaches to reading while sick-listed. Some preferred stories reflecting their own situation and identified strongly with the texts. Others read for aesthetic enjoyment or to escape from their illness for a moment.

'The women read in all of these different ways but at different times during their sick leave, feeling that it greatly contributed to their rehabilitation. This points to the breadth of therapeutic reading and the danger in trying to regulate this type of reading too much,' says Pettersson.

The study also shows that the reading has many dimensions. It relates to the women's volition, physical and mental skills, to relationship and to increased self-esteem.

'Reading can encourage sick-listed individuals to become more actively involved in their rehabilitation,' says Mårtensson.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Fiction reading as medicine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021094728.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2013, October 21). Fiction reading as medicine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021094728.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Fiction reading as medicine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021094728.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) — An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins