More in the evolving meme of narrative medicine: Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (my alma mater) have found that for a select population of individuals listening to personal narratives helps control blood pressure. While the power of stories is old news, the connection to clinical outcomes is what’s newsworthy here. Read Pauline Chen’s nice piece in the NYT. The implications for ongoing work in this area are mind boggling.
The authors sum it up niecly:
Emerging evidence suggests that storytelling, or narrative communication, may offer a unique opportunity to promote evidence-based choices in a culturally appropriate context. Stories can help listeners make meaning of their lives, and listeners may be influenced if they actively engage in a story, identify themselves with the storyteller, and picture themselves taking part in the action.
This nascent field of narrative medicine caught my eye this week when I stumbled on the work of Rita Charon and concept of the parallel chart. Extrapolation to social media may be the next iteration of this kind of work.