Narrative medicine is a growing field of research and education. The vision for the research project Narrative Medicine is to become an integral part of the Danish healthcare system with SDU as the leading site for development of innovative forms of health promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, education activities as well as international research collaboration.
The project thus aims to be a crucial contribution to answering the complex societal challenges in the development of a healthcare system that puts people in the centre.
The project focuses on the following research questions:
- How can healthcare professionals’ competencies for understanding, thinking about, communicating and acting on patients’ and citizens’ illness and health-related narratives be innovated and strengthened?
- How can narrative medicine help strengthen the competencies of patients, relatives and citizens in order to manage health challenges, illness, rehabilitation and palliative care?
Based on international research, the project’s thesis is that a narrative competence can strengthen healthcare professionals’ empathy and social understanding of patients and relatives. A narrative competence includes an understanding of storytelling and language use, including illness metaphors as expressed in relation to the patient/relatives/citizens and healthcare professionals, and in patient journals, logs, etc. The ambition is to investigate whether narrative medicine can also contribute to strengthening the quality of life and sense of meaning for patients, relatives and citizens in connection with rehabilitation and health promotion.
The research project is carried out in a collaboration between research groups within the humanities and health sciences at SDU and Odense University Hospital, and is based on strong cooperative relationships with international research environments.