Susana Magalhães, researcher at Institute of Bioethics at the Portuguese Catholic University (Porto), has been Visiting Professor at Health and Wellbeing Area of ISTUD Foundation on 19th-20th July. This has been the occasion for the exchange and the discussion about methodologies and contents in research and Narrative Medicine field, and for the formalization of the collaboration between the Health and Wellbeing Area and the Institute of Bioethics on the project NOS (Narrar, Ouvir, Saber): Histórias que contagiam.
The project will involve intensive therapy and oncology units of three different Portuguese hospitals: São João Hospital (Porto), University Hospital of Cohimbra, and Santa Maria Hospital (Lisbon).
The project aims to promote the reflection on the difficulty of ethically making or deliberate decisions, and on the importance that these decisions have on the dignity of carers and cared and for the sustainability of the National Health Service.
Through involved healthcare professionals’ narratives, the study wants:
- To evaluate healthcare professionals’ difficulties in communication, deliberation and decision processes in intensive care and oncology units;
- To evaluate how patients want to be informed and involved in the care process;
- To prepare and realize a training activity in Narrative Medicine, according to clinical studies principles (so with a trained experimental group and a control group that won’t be trained), in order to evaluate the eventual improvement produced by the narrative tool in the communication and decisional context.
The hypothesis is that Narrative Medicine can improve a doctor-patient relationship based on trust, and not only: the improvement of the effectiveness of communication and decisional process in intensive therapy and oncology will significantly impact on the healthcare professional, on teamwork, and on the sustainability of Portuguese National Health System.