Improving patient-physician communication is an area of medicine that deserves greater attention. Narrative medicine can be considered as one tool that can aid in fostering better communication. Current medical practice is dominated by evidence-based medicine, and dictates what therapies the clinician will offer in a given circumstance, ideally supported by (evidence-based) guidelines. However, when taken alone it tends to decentralize the patient. There are many different approaches that can be used to understand the patient and what he or she is experiencing as a result of their illness. While time constraints are often mentioned as a barrier to improved communication, in reality the time required to listen to patients is not excessive, and all caregivers should reflect on the possibility to give patients greater freedom from time constraints during consultation, and encourage them to narrate their experiences. Moreover, use of narrative-based medicine may be associated with better diagnosis and treatment of pain. Narrative-based medicine is not just for end-of-life care, but something for all caregivers to give greater consideration to in daily practice in order to form a strong frame of alliance.
- Narrative-based medicine
- Patient-physician communication
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