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Communication and Medicine

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Patient narratives: A micro-interactional analysis

John Chatwin
Published Online: 2006-11-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CAM.2006.014


The use of narrative as a therapeutic tool is well established in many forms of counseling and psychotherapy. Similarly, it forms a significant element of many holistic consultation approaches. The value of patient narratives are recognized by many practitioners working in primary care too, but opportunities for its utilization can be limited by the practicalities of working within conventional healthcare structures. This article presents a micro-interactional analysis of the ways in which patients routinely frame and self-manage their narratives in the context of primary care encounters, and explores some of the behavioral motifs utilized by practitioners in the management of narrative-based interactions.

Keywords: patient narratives; medical consultations; conversation analysis; narrative-based medicine; primary care

About the article

John Chatwin

John Chatwin is a Research Fellow at the School of Healthcare, Leeds University. His background is in sociology and sociolinguistics, with a particular focus on medical interaction. His postdoctoral work has been concerned with the role of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer care. He is currently developing a video-based CA study that will investigate the interactional aspects of ‘treatment-related pain’ in specialist pain clinic consultations.

*Address for correspondence: School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, LS2 9UT, UK.

Published Online: 2006-11-28

Published in Print: 2006-11-01

Citation Information: Communication & Medicine, Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 113–123, ISSN (Online) 1613-3625, ISSN (Print) 1612-1783, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CAM.2006.014.

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