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Barth, Niklas; Kellerer, Christina and Schneider, Antonius (2021): Narrative patterns in asthma and the challenge to accept the need for patient education. In: Zeitschrift für Evidenz Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, Vol. 163: pp. 13-19

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Background: The benefits of patient education in bronchial asthma in terms of reducing hospitalization and incapacity to work are well documented. However, only about a quarter of patients take advantage of training offers. Therefore, this qualitative study with asthma patients examines how to sharpen the motivation to participate in training programs. Methods: In order to investigate narrative patterns of chronic illness in asthma patients, we conducted 14 problem-centered narrative (telephone) interviews. The collected data were evaluated in accordance with system-theoretical analysis. This methodology allows for the interviews to be examined for their narrative patterns. The central question was how the patients we interviewed succeeded in constructing normality in the interviews. Results: From the analysis of the interviews, we were able to develop four types of narrative patterns: the chronic illness as a crisis (1), as a passion (2), as an odyssey (3), and as homeostasis (4). Within these forms of narration, the transition from normal to pathological is told in a specific and exemplary manner. The results of our study can be seen as a contribution to the dynamization and differentiation of trajectories of chronic disease. Discussion: We identified significant differences in the experienced trajectories of the disease. Patients are dealing with chronic disease in different styles, which have individual pressure points where moti-vation for adherence is created in the first place. The results show that the patient's knowledge structures unfolding in the narrative patterns should not be viewed as health illiteracy. Conclusion: These typologies of the normal and the pathological do not only provide a key to under-standing the life-world (Lebenswelt) of chronically ill people, but also to the question of what motivates chronically ill patients to participate in patient trainings. This in-depth understanding could help us to improve motivational discussions with these patients.

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