Thursday Review: “Understanding the Person through Narrative”

Last week, examining Greg Mahr’s ideas about assessing a patient’s decision-making capacities, I found it odd that there is nearly no difference between the outcome of a traditional decision-making assessment and a proposed, new narrative assessment. Mahr does a wonderful job of explaining why narrative is important and how a narrative assessment is focused on the patient’s understanding, rather than a physician’s wishes. The question remains, though: if the outcomes of a narrative assessment don’t differ from what is currently in place, why is it necessary?

Writing in Nursing Research and Practice, Joanne M. Hall and Jill Powell examine some real differences between current medicine and narrative medicine. Their article presents a wide review of available scholarship on narrative in use, specifically as it relates to mental health nursing.
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