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How to use illness narratives in medical education: First teaching experiences with the German DIPEx website project 

How to use illness narratives in medical education: First teaching experiences with the German DIPEx website project
Chapter:
How to use illness narratives in medical education: First teaching experiences with the German DIPEx website project
Author(s):

Alexander Palant

, and Wolfgang Himmel

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198806660.003.0013
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date: 11 April 2021

To be effective, (future) clinicians should gain an understanding of patients’ perspectives when it comes to having an illness. How patients experience their illness is best represented in illness narratives. Such illness narratives can be found on the website www.krankheitserfahrungen.de—the German version of the international DIPEx websites. This chapter discusses a pilot study of a teaching unit developed using website videos of illness narratives from patients with type 2 diabetes regarding weight loss. It discusses the aim of this pilot, which was to teach medical students to identify different subjective views of, and reactions towards, the pressure to give up a previous lifestyle. It investigates how, while students and the teacher appreciated the exercise and learned to better understand the patients’ perspective from illness narratives, the external conditions seem to be the main challenge for patients who need to implement lifestyle changes.

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