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Narrative based medicine - Why study narrative?

Greenhalgh, T.; Hurwitz, B.; (1999) Narrative based medicine - Why study narrative? BMJ , 318 (7175) pp.48 - 50. Green open access


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Summary points: The processes of getting ill, being ill, getting better (or getting worse), and coping (or failing to cope) with illness, can all be thought of as enacted narratives within the wider narratives (stories) of people's lives. Narratives of illness provide a framework forapproaching a patient's problems holistically, and may uncover diagnostic and therapeutic options. Taking a history is an interpretive act; interpretation (the discernment of meaning) is central to the analysis of narratives (for example, in literary criticism). Narratives offer a method for addressing existential qualities such as inner hurt, despair, hope, grief, and moral pain which frequently accompany, and may even constitute, people's illnesses.The lost tradition of narrative should be revived in the teaching and practice of medicine.

Type: Article
Title: Narrative based medicine - Why study narrative?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/318/7175/48...
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2016
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