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Narrative in cancer research and policy : voice, knowledge and context.

Atkinson, S. and Rubinelli, S. (2012) 'Narrative in cancer research and policy : voice, knowledge and context.', Critical reviews in oncology/hematology., 84 (Supplement 2). S11-S16.


The potential applications of narrative within medical practice are attracting increased interest. In particular, personal narratives afford rich insights into how encounters with cancer and the associated provision of care are experienced, understood and represented. Such first-person accounts are practically useful in indicating improvements to cancer care and politically significant in providing a means to enable the patient voice and legitimising experiential knowledge alongside a biomedical paradigm. However, personal narratives are necessarily and always constructed in particular social and political contexts and through existing ‘meta-narratives’ relating to cancer, health, illness and a flourishing life. The present paper first examines work on personal cancer narratives to critically review the opportunities for narrative within cancer care. We then reflect on the crucial role of meta-narratives of cancer as framings within which personal narratives can be both enabled and constrained.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Narrative, Experience, Personal, Identity, Resources, Humanities, Political, Negotiation.
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, 84, Supplement 2, 2012, 10.1016/S1040-8428(13)70004-0.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:15 October 2014
Date of first online publication:December 2012
Date first made open access:No date available

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