Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Illness Narratives in Practice: Potentials and Challenges of Using Narratives in Health-related Contexts


Illness narratives, patients’ stories about their experiences of illness, have gained a reputation as a scientific domain in medicine in the last thirty years. Patients’ stories about living with an illness, diagnostic procedures and treatments, encounters with medical institutions and its impact on their private and social life have been considered as an important access to their meaning-making and coping endeavours. They also play an important role in doctor-patient communication and the development of a healing relationship. This book aims at sensitizing professionals who use illness narratives in the field of medicine for their problems, challenges, and chances. In what ways should scholars of narratives respond to such uses? We argue that the use of narratives in applied contexts raises many questions about what kind of tools they are and what epistemological foundations, communicational properties and pragmatic effects they comprise when they are shifted from research material to clinical or educational and instructive instruments in various domains. This raises ethical concern and reflections. The book brings together scholars from various disciplines across clinical and theoretical fields. They give impressive examples how illness narratives can be used in many practical domains, and reflect on the chances as well as on the methodological or epistemological assumptions and challenges which are inevitably connected with the use of narratives as clinical, educational, or informative tools.

Publisher Name

Oxford University Press






63-74, "Illness Narratives in Ethical Counseling" by Hille Haker in Illness Narratives in Practice: Potentials and Challenges of Using Narratives in Health-related Contexts edited by Gabriele Lucius-Hoene, Christine Holmberg, and Thorsten Meyer, 2018, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.