Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 353–360 | Cite as

Narratives about illness and medication: a neglected theme/new methodology within pharmacy practice research. Part II: medication narratives in practice

  • Kath Ryan
  • Paul BissellEmail author
  • Charles Morecroft
Original Paper



Part 2 of this paper aims to provide a methodological framework for the study of medication narratives, including a semi-structured interview guide and suggested method of analysis, in an attempt to aid the development of narrative scholarship within pharmacy practice research. Examples of medication narratives are provided to illustrate their diversity and usefulness.


The framework is derived from the work of other researchers and adapted for our specific purpose. It comes from social psychology, narrative psychology, narrative anthropology, sociology and critical theory and fits within the social constructionist paradigm. The suggested methods of analysis could broadly be described as narrative analysis and discourse analysis. Examples of medication narratives are chosen from a variety of sources and brief interpretations are presented by way of illustration.


Narrative analysis, a neglected area of research in pharmacy practice, has the potential to provide new understanding about how people relate to their medicines, how pharmacists are engaged in producing narratives and the importance of narrative in the education of students.

Impact of the article

This article aims to have the following impact on pharmacy practice research:
  • Innovative approach to researching and conceptualising the use of medicines

  • Introduction of a new theoretical perspective and methodology

  • Incorporation of social science research methods into pharmacy practice research

  • Development of narrative scholarship within pharmacy


Illness narratives Medication narratives Narrative analysis Pharmacy practice research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Health & Community StudiesBournemouth UniversityBournemouthUK
  2. 2.School of PharmacyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.School of PharmacyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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