What is Narrative Medicine?

There are many different definitions of Narrative Medicine given by experts. According to what was written by Brian Hurwitz and Trisha Greenhalgh it’s “everything happens between the healthcare profession and the patient”.

According to Rita Charon represent the same daily clinical practice and it’s based on the skill of the professionals to observe, listen, interpret and being touched by the patient’s narrations.

According to John Launer Narrative medicine means understand if there are a positive adaptation after the beginning of the disease, or if the stories remain “stopped”, with the patient’s trauma facing the new undesired condition.

The Superior Institute of Healthcare with the CNMR (National Centre for Rare Diseases) defines that with the term Narrative Medicine we mean a methodology of clinical-helpful intervention based on the specific communicative skill.

According to Maria Giulia Marini and ISTUD, Narrative Medicine is placed side by side with Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) and we don’t have to make confusion with the Medical Humanities. At the basis of Narrative Medicine there is an approach to the care more focused on the human-being: the analysis of the text written by patients, by healthcare professionals and by relatives allowed to understand the culture, the values, the needs, the passions, the personal and professional projects and it’s on this that we concentrate to create or maintain an ecological healthcare.

Narrative medicine it’s rewrite the medical and scientific terminology to make it more coherent with the living and the way of thinking of the patient.

Narrative Medicine isn’t an “artistic and fancy representation of the stories of illness”, but a science that helps all the healthcare system professionals and host with attention the experiences of people that lives with a pathology, and of the caregivers, through the research and the clinical practice.

“Narrative Medicine is democratic. It is able to unite ill people and healthcare operators, to associate Evidence-Based Medicine and Narrative-Based Medicine, as well as clinical sciences and human sciences. Narrative Medicine belongs to anyone is involved, both as patient and as carer, in the therapeutic process; it belongs to patients, to their families, to doctors, to nurses, to other healthcare and administrative professionals, to General Directions, but most of all to citizens”

– from an interview to Maria Giulia Marini on La Repubblica, June 12th 2012