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Narrative-based medicine: potential, pitfalls, and practice

Narrative Medizin: Potential, Stolperfallen und Praxis
[journal article]

Kalitzkus, Vera; Matthiessen, Peter F.

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Abstract Narratives have always been a vital part of medicine. With the rise of "modern" medicine narratives have been more and more neglected in favour of "facts and findings" regarded as more objective and scientific. Yet, in the recent years there is a renaissance of narratives – especially patient narratives and the unfolding story between doctors and patients. Eventually this led to the formation of so called Narrative based Medicine (NbM). The term was coined specifically in distinction to Evidence based Medicine (EbM), with NbM being propagated to counteract the shortcomings of EbM. But what does narrative medicine actually contain? Its' meaning spans from a specific therapeutic tool, a special form of doctor-patient-communication to a qualitative research tool. What are the potentials of NbM and its implications for theory, research, as well as for medical practice? Where are the limitations of a narrative approach in medicine?
Keywords medicine; narration; physician-patient relationship; illness; experience; narrative; biography; subject
Classification Medical Sociology; Medicine, Social Medicine
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords narrative medicine; physician-patient relations; illness experience; biography; personal narratives
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 80-86
Journal Permanente Journal, 13 (2009) 1
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works