2 min read

Mixed methods for understanding patient experience

Accessing the power of stories

Our last post talked about how people’s experiences frame their beliefs. Now we take this a step further, looking at how we all make sense of the world through stories. This is a powerful concept because listening to these stories can help us understand the patient journey and identify opportunities for improvement.

Inspiration from social sciences

It’s very natural for people to tell stories – it’s inherent to the human experience. Our stories show what matters to us and, when they resonate, stories grow and spread. By analysing the stories people tell about specific events, we can start to identify the themes that shaped their experience. Social science calls this narrative theory.

What this means for patient centricity

If we are trying to identify opportunities to improve patient outcomes in a particular disease area, it is important to minimise bias in the exploration and to reduce the impact of assumptions. So it makes sense to start by hearing first-hand what contributes to individual’s experience –and narrative interviewing and analysis presents a powerful tool to do that.

What’s more, a narrative approach can be applied equally to understand the state of play of patient centricity within an organisation. By asking colleagues to tell their stories about patient centricity, we are bound to identify factors that helped and hindered their work and subsequently shaped their perceptions.

Give it a go and you’ll be surprised by the power of the method!

Getting started

Narrative analysis is qualitative in nature and it is likely that your colleagues will have varying familiarity with such approaches. Our report, five ideas to enhance patient centricity,  guides you through exploring your colleagues’ experiences to date with qualitative research and how to make such research robust.

Our report provides a solid action plan to help you release the full potential of narrative analysis. Read all about it here

Download these definitions as a PDF


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