El bienestar en la cultura
Una mirada desde lo empírico y la episteme
Una mirada desde lo empírico y la episteme

Systematic and meta-analytic review of bibliotherapy at the postdoctoral level

Tiempo de lectura: 15 minutos

«Postdoctoral research has to start from three fundamental approaches typical of a new science of the 21st century: complexity, transdisciplinarity and transcomplexity».



  1. Acknowledgments
  2. PRISMA method
  3. Systematic review of articles on bibliotherapy and the meaning of life
  4. What has this research and publication of the review article consisted of?
  5. Scientific journal: Quality of Life and Health
  6. What exactly is a postdoctoral degree?
  7. What is a review article?
  8. What is a “double blind” peer review system?
  9. The Postdoctorate in Psychology with Orientation in Review Research Methodology from the University of Flores
  10. References

1. Acknowledgments

I am now a postdoctor! The words of thanks, in this text, are first of all dedicated to the University of Flores, (Faculty of Psychology and Social Sciences) to its teachers, which together with the Vice Dean Dr. Analía Losada, and the group of colleagues with whom I learned the social and professional role of a post doctor, they have constituted the best work context that a social scientist could dream of, THANK YOU.

2. PRISMA method

Next I would like to share with the dear reader, my review article that I have done, in the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Flores, on the occasion of the Postdoctoral Degree in Psychology with Orientation in Review Research Methodology. It is based on the Application of the PRISMA method which means: Preferred Reports for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyzes. This is a series of guidelines to keep in mind when formulating scientific publications that are useful for synthesizing data from a collection of studies.

3. Systematic review of articles on bibliotherapy and the meaning of life

  • Title: Systematic review of articles on bibliotherapy and the meaning of life
  • Magazine: Quality of Life and Health (ISSN 1850-6216) vol. 13 SPECIAL No. (2020)

4. What has this research and publication of the review article consisted of?

 A systematic review of articles has been carried out in order to find a scientific consensus regarding Bibliotherapy as a therapeutic resource that allows to find in reading, content that gives meaning to life,  or that function as mechanisms to heal psychic aspects.

Bibliographic searches were carried out in databases that, due to their excellent academic prestige, contain scientific articles and are freely accessible: The key words of this review research work have been: bibliotherapy, logotherapy, Bibliotherapy in vulnerable communities and reading and resilience.

Bibliotherapy applied to vulnerable groups covers practically all the articles analyzed, because both resilience and the meaning of life are addressed in reading experiences with vulnerable groups (elderly, hospitalized patients, inmates in rehabilitation centers for addictions, children and youth with disabilities, children and adolescents from precarious socioeconomic levels, people facing loss, adolescents with self-esteem problems).

The particular interest of this work was focused on the effects of Bibliotherapy in vulnerable groups that are circumstantially found in total institutions, spaces thus named by Goffman (2008) to refer to inmates of prisons, hospitals and other systems of confinement in the that all stages of daily activities are strictly programmed, and therefore there are crises and conflicts of values ​​that can lead to the loss of the meaning of life and existential frustration.

Bibliotherapy as a therapeutic instrument can be applied very well in patients individually as well as in populations suffering from noogenic neurosis, helping to find the meaning of life in vulnerable communities such as inmates in total institutions, such as prisons or nursing homes.

5. Scientific journal: Quality of Life and Health

This research was published in the journal Quality of Life and Health belonging to the Faculty of Psychology and Social Sciences of the University of Flores (Argentina), whose evaluation system is peer review. It is a trilingual periodical publication in Spanish, Portuguese and English and publishes scientific articles of a wide and diverse thematic spectrum within Psychology and other related sciences. It was created in 2008, it has a biannual publication in which works with different disciplinary approaches, theoretical and methodological perspectives that aim to offer a contribution to the discipline of study are accepted. The main objective of the CdVS magazine is to promote discussion and exchange in the area of ​​Social Psychology.

6. What exactly is a postdoctoral degree?

 In a current sense, postdoctoral work is linked to continuing academic and scientific studies after the completion of doctoral studies, including, the possibility of continuing to deepen the line of research in some particular area. It is common to associate postdoctoral training with the necessary preparation towards the possibility of breaking through the most demanding teaching and institutional career in the university field, on the other hand, a number of scientific productions by the person with that title is expected. Each publication that is carried out by a postdoctor, without a doubt, is a very significant contribution within the different specialties in which they study. In addition, the appointment for possible research designs with public or private funds, which a postdoctor can assume, also implies a certain degree of independence in carrying out this task and a guarantee of good compliance in terms of rigor, reliability and execution.

But a postdoctoral degree involves much more. When we look at it from the researcher’s point of view, a series of personal motivations emerge giving impetus to a journey that transcends any university promotion, or expansion of knowledge and is more linked to an experience of exchanging ideas with other colleagues, valuable discussions within the specificity of each discipline, incorporation of new work techniques, expansion of investigative skills, to say just a few. This is the journey that awakens new curiosities, expands the imagination and orders knowledge to produce new knowledge. In a few words, a post-doctorate is a leadership task oriented to bear fruit to the next generations, it implies a degree of personal and professional maturity very rare to find on a daily basis. Furthermore, this leadership is related to being able to cross the complex and transdisciplinary, facing different perspectives to develop a greater degree of reflection, as well as a more elaborate criterion around all kinds of research and knowledge.

According to Balza

«to carry out postdoctoral research, a transcomplexizing thought is necessary»

(quoted in Fernandez, 2018)

Emphasis is placed on allowing the deepest ideas to emerge from a branch of knowledge on the basis of the most elementaryconcepts.
In other words, the importance of intertwining the more and more abstract aspects of the theory with the more concrete and empirical ones guide the significance of the research.Understanding implies an absolute level of abstraction regarding the configuration of the sensible and of what is given to experience. For this reason, the ability to theorize about aspects still lacking in the realm of science is attributable to the postdoctor. In this sense, Balza (2013) reviews that

«postdoctoral research has to start from three fundamental approaches typical of a new science of the 21st century: complexity, transdisciplinarity and transcomplexity».


The complexity that postdoctoral research faces is, according to Morin Morin (2004)

«a fabric of events, actions, interactions, feedback, determinations, chance events that constitute our phenomenological world … presents the paradox of the one and the multiple» (p. 32).


Frega (2007) regarding transdisciplinarity notes that it is

«a higher level of organization where the boundaries between the various disciplines disappear …» (p. 19).


Thus, the transcomplex indicates a meta-paradigm that operates in the construction of knowledge to assume various instruments of seeing reality that are taking place simultaneously with the possibility of considering new investigative worldviews, to shed light on the emergence of new models of thought by advancing towards paradigmatic confrontation where different epistemological models dialogue in a dialectical way.

The meaning of postdoctoral work is to free thought, orienting it towards a certain angle of investigation, to resignify what is given by the senses, often chaotically. For which central concepts from other disciplines attend, because from the complex and transcomplex it is possible to deepen knowledge.

To access Román’s postdoctoral work, access:

7. What is a review article?

Faced with the growing over-information that exists in our globalized societies, it is essential to synthesize knowledge, especially linked to medical, psychological and social health. In this sense, the value of review articles is highlighted.

According to Carrasco (2009), a review article is understood as the detailed and critical study that assimilates the most important data from an area of ​​knowledge in a comprehensive view.

It is a scientific instrument for collecting relevant information on a well-defined topic.

Through examining the published bibliographic sources, it locates a review in order to interpret the meaning of the data in the set.

The contribution of research that focuses on a specific topic in a well-defined area, where there is a task to gather material from other research on this topic, to analyze and discuss it, was highlighted by UNESCO as early as 1983 ( Brugueras and Díaz 2008)

The truth is that a review article is one of the most valuable contributions that a researcher makes regarding an area of ​​his expertise. According to Brugueras and Díaz (2008), the steps followed in preparing an article of this nature are:

  • Correct definition of the topic
  • Preparation of a work plan.
  • Bibliographic search.
  • Selection and access to documents.
  • Enrichment of documentation through personal exchanges.
  • Analysis of documents.
  • Synthesis of the information.
  • Writing the review article.

What really becomes relevant throughout the process of producing a review article is the ability to synthesize all the available information, and which also results from an instance prior to the publication.It is there where the theoretical divergences and perspectives of the different sources consulted are processed for to turn them into a new order of structure that facilitates capitalizing the information in an interpretive act.

This kind of typical work of specialists in various areas increases the horizons of knowledge of the disciplines to which they belong, facilitating decision-making based on scientific evidence. Systematic reviews and meta-analyzes constitute the reduction of risks of all kinds that may arise from medical and / or psychosocial intervention in the community.

Carrasco (2009) shares some paragraphs of the objectives of a review article.

  • Summarize information about a topic or problem.
  • Identify the relevant, known, unknown and controversial aspects of the subject reviewed.
  • Identify the theoretical approaches developed on the subject
  • Know the methodological approaches to the study of the subject
  • Identify the variables associated with the study of the topic
  • Save time and effort in reading primary documents
  • Contribute to overcome language barriers
  • Give answers to new questions
  • Suggest aspects or research topics.

This means that it is important to take into account two fundamental requirements that the researcher carrying out a review work must have. Experience on the subject and his knowledge of it. Only from this consolidated position, its evaluation function will be able to reduce the biases of the published works found, to also provide practical and concrete guidance not only to the scientific community to which it belongs (interested in this topic), but to a much broader audience compound of professionals and specialists, postgraduates and undergraduate students other potential readers, since the topics usually involve several disciplines simultaneously or have to do with different specialties

Publication is the final destination of all scientific research and review work. Popular magazines, according to the publisher in question, frequently provide certain guidelines according to variables such as the length of the text, structure of the review article, etc.

It is not difficult to imagine an increase in the task of review studies because it has become clear that they play an essential role in purifying scientific production. Reviews are original works, which can contribute vital discussions to the development of science.

For more information on the process that is imposed on the social scientist in review studies visit:

8. What is a “double blind” peer evaluation system?

The peers are professionals, researchers, scientists with such a level of expertise on a subject that they become competent authorities for the evaluation of works produced by other scientists working in the same area of ​​knowledge. When the peer review method is implemented, the members of a scientific community have control of the variables that constitute certain criteria of validity and relevance that make it possible to judge the suitability of the work carried out or to certify its performance based on the quality of the writing or task carried out.

According to Kronick (quoted in Martinez 2012) this procedure originates when, in 1731, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, prior to the publication of articles for its journal Medical Essays and Observations, demanded certain individuals considered as experts in the subject to evaluate them.

Aspects that are usually evaluated are rigor of work, coherence, use of past research, generation of new knowledge, etc.

In many items of academic and scientific work, “double blind” peer review is used, this means that those who evaluate do not know the identity of the author of the work to be evaluated. This system avoids biases of prestige, social or academic membership, nationality recommendations, among many others.

The prestige of many publishers is due to their demanding “double blind” peer review protocols.

It is twofold because two or more experts individually receive the work to be a publication candidate and examine it according to editorial protocols and their expertise on the subject. Then each examiner submits a report recommending or not the application of scientific work. It is possible that in the face of dissent regarding both evaluators, the written production will be sent to a third expert for its consideration.

In addition, the editorial line may recommend a revision or several highly detailed ones to the candidate as a condition for publication. The response should be promptly within a period generally not exceeding ten days.

For at least two centuries, the double-blind evaluation system has reduced bias and has been a promoter of science activity because it improves the quality of work. This process brings together conveniences that make it very suitable in the production of scientific knowledge, analysts who are experts and are really interested in the topics to be evaluated are seriously concerned with criticizing the works, and this in turn contributes to raising the demands of the productions.

The contexts that involve this type of protocol, sometimes include, from the training of reviewers, the pre-selection of articles, the open evaluation with reviewers selected by authors, evaluation by a cohort of reviewers, consortia for the evaluation of articles, among other variables that are adjusted to each specific case and that in all of them contributes to rigor in the interest of scientificity.

For more information access the interview conducted by Dr. Analía Verónica Losada to Dr Román published in the Journal of Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology of the National University of La Plata, Argentina

9. The Postdoctorate in Psychology with Orientation in Review Research Methodology from the University of Flores

Gratitude is a very powerful and positive emotion. In my case it expresses and translates an institutional and social journey that has facilitated the construction of scientific and social knowledge, in addition to having allowed me to grow professionally, which in turn, results in a cultural benefit of undeniable value, since as expressed by the Argentine neuroscientist and Conicet researcher Facundo Manes: «The wealth of a country is in knowledge». Reading empowers the brain, cares for it, protects and stimulates it against the ineffable passage of time.

For more information on bibliotherapy and neuropsychical health visit my doctoral work

My brain itself has been stimulated in the face of the investigative task. First with regard to the investigation of scientific articles with the subsequent preparation of a review publication of the bibliography. Then, while in that publication I exposed the most rigorous data regarding the influence of bibliotherapy in communities suffering from noogenic neurosis, more generally belonging to total institutions, and also because I produced a discussion that, by itself, shows the contribution to knowledge or enrichment of our culture.

It was thanks to the structure of the device of the Review article that I have carried out at the UFLO Faculty of Psychology, which has allowed me to put in a text the forceful importance that acces to reading has for people whose ailments of this type are still present today in our societies and in all societies. It was thanks to the structure of the device of the Review article that I have carried out at the UFLO Faculty of Psychology, which has allowed me to overturn in a text the overwhelming importance that access to reading is for people.  Neogenic neuroses are diseases that are very present today in our current societies.

This work is available to future researchers. The article is the synthesis of a long personal and professional history (in permanent contact with total institutions) after the task of strengthening bibliotherapy as a useful, economic device and promoter of the purest liberties of the human being.  That is, the adaptation of knowledge to a work model linked to scientific-social excellence has been provided by the UFLO School of Psychology.

In a recent publication, I have said that the task of a social researcher resembles the figure of an Indiana Jones, who uses books and to different popular learned knowledge to find the keys to a search that is possible to be done.

What better for an Indiana Jones of this nature than a group of Indiana Jones, with different knowledge and experiences, capable of offering their expertise, and bringing them all together in a space, a room, a social laboratory? This has been the sensation when I was able to go through my process together with my colleagues from the Postdoctorate in Review Research Methodology with a focus on Psychology from UFLO.

Virtual teaching

In the framework of continuous training carried out by UFLO. I was summoned by the vice dean Dra Analía Losada, to teach the doctors, through the zoom platform, relevant topics concerning scientific research.

As a professor of doctors, I provided the most important tools a person can count on to carry out an adequate bibliographic search.

My incessant experience in scientific and social research, doctoral and post-doctoral, was combined with my expertise as a librarian, to facilitate the path for my students, the doctors, who are still growing towards leadership on their topics of knowledge.

But beyond the technical value of my intervention as a professor of doctors, what I have been able to transmit to them is the value of the book, as an agent of culture and as a synthesis of the transmission of knowledge, of principles, of education, which are aspects that lead to the expression of human freedom. Only freedom can be the most powerful expression of the positive transformation that our communities need.

I also highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence, which is a key aspect to sustain a growning and process while meeting the needs of everyday life. Finding social support during the training period of these doctors is as important for them as being able to provide it to loved ones and peers, instead of closing themself off to the world with the fruitless idea of «moving faster.»

These leaders have shown me in the course of my class that they are capable of giving great value to our scientific and social communities, and I am very grateful to have been able to teach them some fundamental concepts related to Social Psychology and the Logtherapy.

About UFLO

The UFLO was founded in 1995 with the aim of training citizens, professionals, technicians and researchers who integrate their current discipline with social and environmental needs. It manages its actions from a global perspective that starts from local and regional needs.

Today, the University has two sites where training, innovation and transfer activities are carried out. The Buenos Aires headquarters is distributed in four buildings: three in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Flores and an annex in the town of Bella Vista, province of Buenos Aires. The Comahue regional headquarters is located in the city of Cipolletti, Río Negro province.

And one of the most favored aspects of the spirit of this institution is, in my opinion, its vision, and also its values, on its website you can read that they are interested in:

Promote the continuous improvement of the quality of life of the community mentally, socially, physically and environmentally through teaching, research and extension activities. Integrate scientific-technological advances with the humanistic within a framework of innovation and freedom of thought.

To be a University contextualized in its environment and of regional and global reference, for the dissemination and generation of knowledge that promotes human development in conditions of social and environmental sustainability.

For this, it aspires to:

• To be an outstanding University in the training of professionals committed to generating value for society as a whole, promoting education as a social good in a context of inclusive globality.

• Be a leading University in the development of scientific-technological capacities that promote environmental sustainability.

I would like to highlight the social commitment assumed in its four Sustainability areas, which place it in a leading institution. Furthermore, as if this were not enough, they carry out institutional self-evaluations. There is no doubt about the importance of the Faculty of Psychology and Social Sciences in this context, whose Vice Dean Dr Analía Losada, whom I have had the honor of knowing and learning about her humanity and vocation, constitutes according to my criteria and my observation, an indispensable actor in the highest tasks of this Faculty.

In this regard, I would like to point out teaching excellence in shaping postdoctoral spaces and other academic offerings within UFLO that I have had the privilege of enjoying, with special mention being made by PhD student and teacher Julieta Marmo.

Julieta Marmo (Coordinadora de Formación Continua), Beatriz Labrit (Decana Facultad de Psicología y Ciencias Sociales),
Analia Verónica Losada (Vicedecana Facultad de Psicología y Ciencias Sociales. Directora del Posdoctorado en Metodología de la Revisión Sistemática) y Beatriz Baroni (Directora de Internacionalización)

This celebration, of invaluable companions, first-rate teachers and a dreamed-of institutional and academic treatment, support in words my deep and heartfelt thanks for the journey i have traveled together with them.

Beatriz Labrit (Decana Facultad de Psicología y Ciencias Sociales) , Ruth Fische (Rectora) y Analia Verónica Losada (Vicedecana Facultad de Psicología y Ciencias Sociales. Directora del Posdoctorado en Metodología de la Revisión Sistemática)

10. References

How to cite this article

Román, A. (2020).Systematic and meta-analytic review of bibliotherapy at the postdoctoral level [Day, Month, Year Online] https://antonioroman.info/systematic-and-meta-analytic-review-of-bibliotherapy-at-the-postdoctoral-level/(abre en una nueva pestaña)