Narrative writing: Effective ways and best practices

Perspect Clin Res. Apr-Jun 2017;8(2):58-62. doi: 10.4103/2229-3485.203044.


A narrative is a brief summary of specific events experienced by patients, during the course of a clinical trial. Narrative writing involves multiple activities such as generation of patient profiles, review of data sources, and identification of events for which narratives are required. A sponsor outsources narrative writing activities to leverage the expertise of service providers which in turn requires effective management of resources, cost, time, quality, and overall project management. Narratives are included as an appendix to the clinical study report and are submitted to the regulatory authorities as a part of dossier. Narratives aid in the evaluation of the safety profile of the investigational drug under study. To deliver high-quality narratives within the specified timeframe to the sponsor can be achieved by standardizing processes, increasing efficiency, optimizing working capacity, implementing automation, and reducing cost. This paper focuses on effective ways to design narrative writing process and suggested best practices, which enable timely delivery of high-quality narratives to fulfill the regulatory requirement.

Keywords: Clinical study report; narrative writing process; patient narrative; project management; safety narrative.

Publication types

  • Review