Use of narrative methods in rehabilitation and palliative care in Scandinavian countries: A scoping review

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Background: Although narratives—including an ill person's life story, life situation and future perspectives—seem to lie at the core of rehabilitation and palliative care in Scandinavian countries, we lack a scope of how, when and where narrative methods are used. Such a scope could provide knowledge and inspiration on a practical as well as a policy level. The objective of this study is to explore the literature on the use of systematic, narrative methods in rehabilitative and palliative care for people with life-threatening illness in Scandinavian countries. Method: We conducted a scoping review in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) where applicable. We performed a systematic search in CINAHL, Medline, PsychInfo, SOCIndex and SveMed+using the search terms ‘life threatening illness’, ‘narratives’, ‘rehabilitation’, ‘palliative care’ and ‘Scandinavia’, followed by a search for grey literature. We found 42 records to be eligible for this scope and extracted the data via piloted extraction tables. Results: We identified 17 narrative methods and present findings concerning four themes: (1) a record of the narrative methods used; (2) an objective and theoretical framework for the narrative methods; (3) the content and form of the narrative methods; and (4) the significance of the narrative methods used. Conclusion: Narrative methods are used in systematic ways in rehabilitation and palliative care in Scandinavian countries and cover a wide variety of objectives, theoretical frames, forms and outcomes. Further development may benefit from more elaboration on definitions and the relationships between objectives, theoretical frameworks and outcomes.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)346-381
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This study has been funded through a national grant targeting psychosocial research on people with cancer by the Danish Cancer Society (grant number R260‐A15204‐19‐S3). The Danish Cancer Society had no other role in designing or conducting the scoping review. Funding on the included studies can be obtained through email correspondence with the first author


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