Phoenix Fellows and Grantees

Dr. Seema Marwaha

2016 Phoenix Project Fellow
MD, FRCPC, MEd
Co-sponsor Organization
Trillium Health Partners

Enabling Compassionate Care Through Storytelling: Better Understanding the Breadth and Reach of Online Patient Narratives

Patient narratives have the potential to improve the engagement of patients in their care, increase patient understanding of their condition, and allow them to engage in meaningful and informed communication with their providers. They can also help teach providers to be mindful of the individual experience of patients.  It is important to understand, however, that narratives only have the potential to enhance the practice of compassionate care and engage patients if they are used effectively.  Much of the current focus in narrative medicine has been on creating methods to capture patient stories rather than on evaluating them, tracking their uptake, and determining whether they are achieving their intended impact in the real world. Other media production industries, like film and advertising, place great emphasis on getting user feedback on content to assess engagement, developing content distribution strategies and defining metrics to determine if the content is impactful.

This project seeks to use strategies effective in other media industries to understand what online patient narrative content is currently being produced and how it is being used. The major objectives are to develop a practical online search strategy to make it easier to find and curate online patient narrative content and to develop a method to critically review existing content to see if it is effectively reaching their intended audience. We will then carry out the search strategy and content analysis in different medical topic areas and map out key insights and gaps in the content. Key learnings will help us understand what makes content engaging to patients and to develop content distribution strategies to maximize use of content by intended audiences.