I ask patients who come to my ward writing groups to complete an evaluation form – if I think they are ok to do so.
I’ve just created A3 laminated posters for the 2 wards I work in showing the findings from more than a year’s worth of evaluation forms.
Over 90% of participants enjoyed the group, approximately 70% said that the writing session(s) helped them to express themselves, over 60% said the session(s) lifted their mood and decreased their anxiety, around 55% said coming to the group helped them to talk to other people more easily. Approximately 40% said that the writing session(s) helped them to understand themselves. These figures include only “true” responses and not “partly true” repsonses.
As well as the questions summarized above (which are tick-box questions), the evaluation form asks what participants feel they have gained from the group and these are the most frequent comments for that question in order of frequency: meeting people, sharing with others, confidence, enjoyment of writing, self expression, positivity, companionship, enjoyment, learning, trying something new, creativity, remembering happy memories, inspiration, relaxation, another perspective, understanding.
I can’t put too much detail in here as I hope to publish my data at some point but I am also looking at whether people with certain diagnoses enjoy the group, and feel they benefit from it, more or less than others.