Cultural contexts of health: the use of narrative research in the health sector
Health Evidence Network Synthesis Report No. 49
WHO Regional Office for Europe
ISBN-13    9789289051682 ISBN-10    928905168X
Order Number    13400179 Format    Paper Back
Price    CHF    30.00 / US$    36.00 Developing countries:    CHF    21.00
English     2016        62   pages
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***Highly commended in the Public health category of the BMA medical book awards 2017.***

Storytelling is an essential tool for reporting and illuminating the cultural contexts of health: the practices and behaviour that groups of people share and that are defined by customs, language and geography. This report reviews the literature on narrative research, offers some quality criteria for appraising it and gives three detailed case examples: diet and nutrition, well-being and mental health in refugees and asylum seekers.
Storytelling and story interpretation belong to the humanistic disciplines and are not a pure science, although established techniques of social science can be applied to ensure rigour in sampling and data analysis. The case studies illustrate how narrative research can convey the individual experience of illness and well-being, thereby complementing and sometimes challenging epidemiological and public health evidence.