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Narrative research methods in palliative care contexts : two case studies.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date05/2009
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Journal number5
Volume37
Number of pages9
Pages788-796
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Narrative methods have played a minor role in research with dying patients to date, and deserve to be more widely understood. This article illustrates the utility and value of these methods through the narrative analysis of semi-structured interview data gathered in a series of interviews with two terminally ill cancer patients and their spouses. The methods and findings associated with these two case studies are outlined and discussed. The authors' contention is that an analytical focus on the naturalistic storytelling of patients and informal carers can throw new light on individuals' perceived illness states and symptoms, care-related needs, behaviors, and desires. In addition, the juxtaposition of two cases that share a number of markers of risk and need at the end of life illustrates how the narrative analysis of patients' experiential accounts can assist in uncovering important distinctions between cases that are of relevance to care management.