We listen but do we hear? The importance of patient stories

Br J Community Nurs. 2006 Sep;11(9):S6-14. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2006.11.Sup4.21767.


Patients' perspectives on their illness and care are increasingly recognized as the focus for the organization of health care, yet patient stories are rarely examined on their own. Mostly, they are dissected for data, and so the impact is lost. This article presents a number of story tellers, all patients with leg wounds attending a social clinic. Reading their stories helps us understand the experience of being a patient and living with difficult and painful leg wounds. They also show how nurses can play a critical role in optimizing the power of the story in the patient's journey towards physical and psychological healing.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Body Image
  • Communication*
  • Health Promotion
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Leg Ulcer / nursing
  • Leg Ulcer / psychology*
  • Loneliness
  • Narration*
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Peer Group
  • Power, Psychological
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Self Concept
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Social Support