The Reader is a social enterprise that aims to improve wellbeing and reduce social isolation, delivering Shared Reading in the health, youth and criminal justice sectors. They work with various partners such as mental health trusts, public health departments, clinical commissioning groups, local libraries, and criminal justice settings.

The Reader approached Pro Bono Economics to identify a key outcome variable of their Shared Reading programme to be used in a future economic evaluation of the programme, and to identify an outcome measure for this variable to be used to inform an economic impact assessment of the programme with regard to health-related outcomes.

We matched volunteers Elizabeth Hancock, Fionn Woodcock, Chris Hellmund and David Trueman from Source Health Economics & Outcome Research to this project. Ed Godber and Meera Sookee supported the volunteer team during the course of the project. We would like to express our gratitude to all parties for their involvement in the project.

The volunteer team compiled an advisory report, containing evidence on the links between social isolation and health outcomes, loneliness and health benefits/cost savings, as well as information on research tools. These factors influence the recommended outcome detailed in the report.

Moving forward, we hope The Reader will be able to use the report to inform a subsequent economic evaluation of their Shared Reading programme.