What Can TA Learn from Patient Narratives: Using Narrative Methodology to Assess the Role of Patients in Dutch Hospitals

M. Heerings, Stans van Egmond, Anneke Sools, Lisa van Duijvenbooden, Stans Drossaert

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeContribution to conference proceedingsScientific


Using narrative methodology, we assess the feasibility of the active and independent patient,
an image portrayed in Dutch government papers and contested by patient organizations,
medical occupational groups and political parties. 109 stories about hospital care from 103
patients were collected online. Storyline analysis resulted in nine experience types that
describe prototypical situations in which patients find themselves in the hospital. These nine
types offer a rich picture of patient perspectives on quality and safety of hospital care. Being
in the hospital creates a tension for the patient. On the one hand, many patients are scared
and become silent. On the other hand, many patients feel the need to speak out, and to be
involved in their own care trajectory. We argue that this tension cannot be taken away, as it
is a part of being a patient in a hospital. Instead, we propose that the hospital system should
be designed in such a way that sensitivity for this tension is taken into account. Patient
narratives could be fruitfully deployed for this purpose. Our study shows that narrative
research is a promising method for TA as it offers a tool for identifying contextualised
dilemma’s experienced by stakeholders and users of large socio-technical systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnology Assessment and Policy Areas of Great Transitions
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings from the PACITA 2013 Conference in Prague
EditorsTomáš Michalek, Lenka Hebáková, Leonhard Hennen, Constanze Scherz, Linda Nierling, Julia Hahn
Place of PublicationPrague
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-80-7333-106-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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