Patients and agents – or why we need a different narrative

Loughlin, Michael ORCID: (2018) Patients and agents – or why we need a different narrative. In: Annual conference European Society for Person Centred Healthcare, 7-8 Dec 2018, London. (Unpublished)

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The success of medicine in the treatment of patients brings with it new challenges. More people live on to suffer from functional, chronic or multifactorial diseases, and this has led to calls for more complex analyses of the determinants of health and illness.

While these factors do not require a radical paradigm shift, they do give us cause to develop a new narrative, to add to existing narratives that frame our thinking about medical care. The increased focus on lifestyle and shared decision making requires a new narrative of agency, to supplement the narrative of “the patient”. This narrative is conceptually linked to the developing philosophy of person-centred care.

The adoption of this narrative will have numerous benefits, helping practitioners work with patients to their mutual benefit, harnessing the patients’ motivation, shifting the focus from treatment to prevention and preventing unnecessary and harmful treatments that can come out of our preoccupation with the patient narrative. It will also help to shift research efforts, conceptual and empirical, from “treating” and “battling” diseases to understanding complex contributing factors and their interplay.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Medicine and health
Depositing User: Michael Loughlin
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 16:28
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:27

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