There has been increasing interest in the healthcare industry related to story-based initiatives. Hospitals recognize the importance of a patient-centered approach in the provision of services, but can't provide those services without understanding who patients are on a personal level.
Thanks to a grant from the UF Medical Guild, Self Narrate will be partnering with UFHealth Shands Rehabilitation hospital throughout 2016 to provide a story-based initiative at the hospital, recording stories every week.
What we're trying to do: Rehab patients often face long-term debilitating illness requiring months of prolonged hospitalization and/or are facing an uncertain future due to significant injuries. The roles, habits and routines we value and engage in everyday help to define our stories. But, when the course of one's life is altered by these dramatic experiences, people are often at a loss as to how they will continue in those activities and what that means, more deeply, to the story of their personhood. As people are able to answer the question of "Who am I?" with their new circumstances they develop a "disability identity" - how one perceives him or herself in the face of a disability. People can develop both positive and negative associations with their disability identity. We believe that by helping people better examine their story prior to their new circumstances, it may help them better reflect on how to move forward and integrate their "old" story with their "new story" to create a positive disability identity. Some patients are also facing end-of-life issues, and can benefit from story development as a medium for life review.
Through the Know Your Story, Grow Your Self project, patients and their caregivers will be given the opportunity by Self Narrate to share their stories. Patients' stories will be filmed and shared with their family, with future patients as a form of "virtual" peer mentorship, and on the Self Narrate website for general public education.