Shared reading ‘could be an alternative to CBT’ for chronic pain
For their research, Billington and colleagues wanted to compare shared reading with CBT for chronic pain, since shared reading is often used to help ease the symptoms of other chronic conditions, such as dementia.
Participants with severe chronic pain were recruited to the study. Some subjects completed 5 weeks of CBT, and parallel to this, the remaining subjects completed 22 weeks of shared reading. After 5 weeks, participants who completed CBT joined the shared reading group.
The shared reading strategy incorporated literature that was designed to prompt memories of relationships, family members, work, and other experiences that arise throughout a lifetime, as opposed to CBT, which focused on a single point in time at which the patient was affected by chronic pain.
Subjects were required to report pain severity and emotions before and after each intervention, and they also kept a diary, where they recorded their pain and emotions twice daily.