Bibliotherapy for mental health service users Part 2: a survey of psychiatric libraries in the UK

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Abstract

Aims and objectives:

UK health policy advocates a patient-centred approach to patient care. Library services could serve the rehabilitation needs of mental health service users through bibliotherapy (the use of written, audio or e-learning materials to provide therapeutic support). Part 2 of this two-part paper assesses the views of psychiatric libraries in the UK on providing access to service users and possible services provided.

Methods:

An e-mail questionnaire survey of psychiatric library members of the psychiatric lending co-operative scheme (n = 100) obtained a response rate of 55%, mostly from libraries based in hospitals.

Results:

At present, libraries funded by the health service provide minimal facilities for service users. Librarians are uncertain about the benefits and practicalities of providing access to service users.

Conclusions:

In order to implement change, information providers across the National Health Service (NHS) will need to work collaboratively to overcome attitudinal and institutional barriers, including the key issue of funding.

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