I am a Masters student at Keele university researching interventions which promote wellbeing in older adults. Specifically, I am examining the effect of different themes of poetry on groups of older adults living in assisted living facilities in Stoke on Trent. Whereas previous research showed poetry was effective as a therapeutic tool, a pilot study I ran as an undergrad. suggested different poetic themes (nature, classic, nostalgic) have different effects. The results of this study will inform the design of a more targeted intervention and will form the basis of a larger research project.
The humanities have traditionally provided such interventions, utilising literature, arts and crafts. While it is commonly understood that such interventions are effective, the humanities are not generally in a position to show how and why. It is important to answer these questions if such projects are to receive funding. For this reason, psychology, with its research methods, and the humanities are perfect partners for the future study of the area. It is my ambition to forge greater partnerships between the two disciplines.