The Significance of Implementing a Narrative Medicine Approach at the Knights Landing One Health Center (KLOHC)

  • Brandon Nguyen University of California, Davis

Abstract

The Knights Landing One Health Center (KLOHC) is a student-run clinic that provides “One Health”
services (e.g., primary care services, dental services, veterinary services, and health education programs)
to the rural and migrant residents in Knights Landing, California. As a continuum of community
engagement, a narrative medicine approach was implemented into intake protocol and clinical
interviewing. This narrative medicine approach primarily affects three individuals: the patient, the
undergraduate volunteer, and the medical student. The undergraduate volunteers ask three narrative
medicine questions that promote open-ended responses. The medical students are asked to rehearse a
constructed narrative medicine introduction. Both the narrative medicine questions and the narrative
medicine introduction are designed to give patients time to share their narratives. This approach was
quantitatively evaluated using 5-point scale ratings designed to (1) determine if the narrative medicine
questions were effective in alleviating patient anxiety (2) determine whether the narrative medicine
questions revealed hidden social history (3) determine if implementation of the narrative medicine
approach reduced patient waiting time. Qualitative results indicate that patients discussed the following:
disabilities, family trauma, past medications, aging, health education, nutritional habits, mental health,
and legal status. Similarly, patient interactions resulted in volunteers reflecting upon their own narratives.
The volunteer reflections were reported on narrative medicine surveys. The narrative medicine approach
characterized in this study may be helpful in facilitating more holistic patient interviews and better
treatment outcomes.

Published
2021-10-18