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Dictionary of narrative medicine, there is also room for narrative pharmacy

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Dictionary of narrative medicine, there is also room for narrative pharmacy

Rome, 9 December – Narrative medicine – a clinical-assistance intervention methodology based on the narration of the different points of view of those who collaborate in the treatment process, less known than it perhaps deserves – now also has its own vocabulary. For the types of Morcelliana, a prestigious and now almost century-old Catholic-inspired publishing label which counts among its founders Gian Battista Montini (whom many years later the whole world will know as Paul VI), is in fact out Dictionary of Narrative Medicine – Word and Practices (Scholé, 2022), edited by Maximilian Marinelliprofessor of Narrative Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the Marche Polytechnic University and of Bioethics at the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences of the same university (in the picture).

Basically, narrative medicine is nothing more than a clinical practice fortified by narrative competence, meaning by this the ability to recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret and be moved by the stories of patients and diseases. In this way the treatment is “shaped” on the patient as a person. The dictionary edited by Marinelli, the first work of its kind, through the targeted choice of entries edited by leading experts in the field, on the one hand sheds light on the fundamental concepts that make up the whole of narrative medicine and its complementary relationship with medicine evidence-based (Ebm); on the other, it indicates the methodologies and practices through which narrative medicine is realized as a therapeutic tool available to health professionals.

Marinelli’s dictionary, as the editor himself explains, starts from the document resulting from a consensus conference of 2015 where it is stated that narration is the fundamental tool for acquiring, understanding and integrating the different points of view of those involved in the disease and in the treatment process. The aim is the shared construction of a personalized treatment path. In its essence, therefore, narrative medicine is a communicative practice that directs treatment towards the person. As such, it could not fail to arouse the interest of pharmacists, who are also health professionals who intervene in the therapeutic path of patients. And it is therefore no coincidence that, within Sifo, one of the most authoritative scientific societies in the pharmaceutical profession, there are those who – since 2015 – have paid great attention to this methodology and are committed to “translating” it into the professional practice of the pharmacist. It’s about Image result for Maria Ernestina Faggiano, Sifo Treasurer.  Dimensions: 128 x 150. Source: www.pphc.itDaniela Scala and Maria Ernestina Beech (pictured right) which since 2015 have been developing specific contents, paths and projects within the Italian Society of Hospital Pharmacy and in the heart of the professional reality. Faggiano and Scala’s efforts have been rewarded, because Marinelli entrusted them with the drafting of the lemma “Farmacia narrative”, thus sanctioning the existence and dignity of the methodology also in the field of pharmaceutical assistance (because, as Galileo already taught, giving things a name means making them exist). The narrative Pharmacy, therefore, is rightfully present in the Dictionary of Narrative Medicineof which it occupies eight pages (from 184 to 191, including the bibliography) in which it is specified that it “it is not opposed to narrative medicine, rather it is part of it”. But – above all – it explains and specifies (because a dictionary must do this) what it is, what it is for, what it pursues. For Faggiano and Scala, “the most immediate definition is ‘the narration of patients or other health professionals in reference to the therapeutic treatment which is the most evident and prompt means of cure’. A definition that integrates into this: ‘The narrative of the pharmacist, who interfaces with his own profession, with other pharmacists, with patients and with all health professionals’.”

Definitely less arcane than one might think. In the volume, Faggiano and Scala also construct a concise history of narrative pharmacy, citing the first publications (from 2006 and 2007) which speak of “narratives about medicines”, to get to more recent articles (2015-2016) in which the “need to integrate EBM-based pharmaceutical practice with narrative approaches to ensure high quality care”.

In their text – which also analyzes the prospects of this type of approach – the two authors underline that even in the practice and in the context of Sifo’s presence (with a planning that brings together “narrative” research projects aimed at both members and patients) “narrations were the tool that made it possible to obtain a picture of the professional identity of the NHS pharmacist, to highlight his strengths, such as the passion for this activity and the almost invisible work, the weaknesses on to work during the degree course first and then the specialization, to build the ability to work as a team among ourselves and with other health professionals and administrative figures”.

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Understandably satisfied with the involvement in the realization of the work, which they define “farsighted and prestigious”Faggiano and Scala do not fail to thank its curator, who – they write – “he has managed to put together a beautiful work that will have a place in the history of this discipline, a work that manages to make us understand the breadth, impact and nuances of narrative medicine”.

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