The Rationales for and Challenges with Employing Arts-based Health Services Research (ABHSR): A Qualitative Systematic Review of Primary Studies

Article Summary by Umair Majid We conducted a systematic review of 42 studies to identify the rationales for using arts-based research in health care. We found four rationales: (1) capture aspects of a topic that may be overlooked or ignored by other methods, (2) allow participants to reflect on their own experiences, (3) generate valuable […]

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A Mirror in Fiction: Drawing Parallelisms Between Camus’s La Peste and COVID-19

Article Summary by César Pérez Romero Fiction is a particular mirror of reality. It does not look to merely reflect it: it tries to enhance it in order to build art from it. Nowadays, when the entire world faces an unprecedented public health crisis (COVID-19), taking a look at fiction about epidemics constitutes a highly […]

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Representing Young Men’s Experience of Anorexia Nervosa A French-Language Case Study

Article Summary by Katie Jones This article analyses two young adult (YA) novels about young men’s experience of anorexia nervosa (AN), within the dual contexts of medical humanities research into literary depictions of illness, and the broader field of young adult literature about AN. While emphasising the importance of diverse literary narratives in order to […]

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“From Disaster, Miracles are Wrought”: A Narrative Analysis of UK Media Depictions of Remote GP Consulting in the Covid-19 Pandemic Using Burke’s Pentad

Article Summary by Gilly Mroz This study used narrative analysis (the study of stories and storytelling) to explore how the mainstream media reacted to the shift from face-to-face to remote medical consultations during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. We used a conceptual framework developed some years ago by the literary theorist Kenneth Burke, which […]

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Vivisection Through the Eyes of Wilkie Collins, H.G. Wells and John Galsworthy

Article Summary by Jill Felicity Durey Before social media, novelists could help or hinder medical progress for humans and animals, as often their works were serialised. This article discusses the strong influence of Wilkie Collins, H.G. Wells and John Galsworthy on public acceptance or rejection of the medical use of vivisection. Collins, in the nineteenth […]

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Lessons from the Frontlines: A Junior Doctor’s Experience of the First Wave of the COVID-19 Epidemic in a Resource-Limited Setting

Article Summary by Brabaharan Subhani and Dilushi Wijayaratne Sri Lanka is a low middle-income country which has a dominant state-run health service that provides free healthcare. The high rates of literacy and welfare orientation have enabled the country to achieve favourable health outcomes at a relatively low cost. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched our […]

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Making Emergency Responders Visible: Working-class Responses to Industrial Disaster in Nineteenth-Century Journalism and Poetry

Article Summary by Rosalyn Buckland Hidden beneath the ground in coalmines, or behind the walls of factories, the injured bodies of workers have too often been overlooked. While the nineteenth-century saw workplaces become ever more dangerous, journalists struggled to tell these stories. Using poems by Joseph Skipsey, I challenge journalistic neglect in order to illuminate the actions […]

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War of Conscience: Anti-Vaccination and the Battle for Medical Freedom During World War One

Article Summary by Susan McPherson Many high-income countries have relatively high COVID vaccination uptake among people vulnerable to disease. There is also significant ‘vaccine hesitancy’ in some groups. Doubts may be fuelled to some extent by anti-vaccination campaigns. The term ‘anti-vax’ tends to be used to criticise those engaged in or endorsing anti-vaccination as though […]

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Person-ness of Voices in Lived Experience Accounts of Psychosis: Combining Literary Linguistics and Clinical Psychology

Article Summary by Elena Semino, Demjen Zsofia and Luke Collins A substantial minority of the general population and a considerable majority of people with diagnoses such as schizophrenia hear voices that other people cannot hear—a phenomenon that is sometimes described as a type of hallucination. Psychologists have noticed that reports of voice hearing differ in […]

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Be Still, My Beating Heart: Reading Pulselessness from Shakespeare to the Artificial Heart

Article Summary by Claire Hansen and Michael Charles Stevens This article explores how Shakespearean drama can help us to understand the significance of the heartbeat⁠—medically and culturally. Patients with modern artificial hearts (or “LVADs”) do not have a discernible pulse. This undermines centuries of understanding the pulse as central to human life. To consider this […]

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