Scant clinical attention is usually paid to (a) forensic patients' reading interests or (b) the potential that library services may offer in providing information and therapy to patients. We undertook a cross-sectional service evaluation of patients' library attendance and use at Rampton high secure hospital in a 12-month period between July 2009 and June 2010.
We collected information for 326 patients across all 28 wards. Almost 79% used the library service in some way, 66% borrowing music, 67% borrowing books and some borrowing both. Factual books were borrowed more than fiction, with graphic novels, talking books and self-help books about mental disorder all proving popular.
Reading and library use should be considered by clinicians in terms of the positive impact of improving literacy to enhance wider recovery, in relation to the impact of illness and medication effects on reading ability and the potential for providing health-related messages, illness education and reading therapy.
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