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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-31

An online narrative archive of patient experiences to support the education of physiotherapy and social work students in north east England: An evaluation study

1 Northumbria University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences; Centre for Excellence in Healthcare Professional Education (CETL4HealthNE), Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
2 Centre for Excellence in Healthcare Professional Education (CETL4HealthNE), Newcastle upon Tyne; York St. John University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, York, England, United Kingdom
3 Centre for Excellence in Healthcare Professional Education (CETL4HealthNE); Newcastle University, School of Medical Sciences Education Development, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
4 Northumbria University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Jason Scott
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, York St. John University, Lord Mayor's Walk, York, England, YO31 7EX
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: The funding for this study was provided by CETL4HealthNE, a consortium led by Newcastle University with the universities of Durham, Northumbria, underland and Teesside with NHS partners in the North East of England. CETL4HealthNE was originally funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.112797

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Background: Patient narratives are a viable process for patients to contribute to the education of future health professionals and social workers. Narratives can facilitate a deeper understanding of the self and others through self-reflection and encourage transformative learning among students. Increasingly, accounts of health and care are available online but their use in health and social work education requires evaluation. This study explored the experiences of stakeholders who contributed to, developed and used an online narrative archive, which was developed in collaboration with five universities and healthcare providers in the North East of England (CETL4HealthNE). Methods: Realistic evaluation principles were used to underpin data collection, which consisted of semi-structured interviews, a focus group and observations of educators using narrative resources in teaching sessions with different professional groups in two universities. Participants included educators, storytellers, narrative interviewers, students and a transcriber. Data were analysed thematically by two researchers and verified by a third researcher. Findings: Stakeholders reported that listening to patient narratives was challenging. The process of contributing the story was a positive cathartic experience for patients, and the powerful storyteller voice often evoked empathy. Students commented on the ability of the online audio-visual narratives to enable them to see the patient holistically, and educators reported that narratives provided a means to introduce sensitive topics. Conclusions: The use of a locally generated online narrative archive is beneficial for storytellers, students and educators, providing an opportunity to influence healthcare professional training. Care needs to be taken when exposing individuals to potentially sensitive narratives.

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