Claiming the illness experience: Using narrative to enhance theoretical understanding

Elphine Mostert, Alicja Zacharkiewicz, Ellie Fossey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The narrative of a young woman's experience of cancer is used to illustrate how strategies employed by health practitioners can affect clients' perceptions of the causes of illness and also the outcome of both present and future illness experiences. Clinical reasoning strategies of occupational therapists are introduced and links are made to the possible reasoning strategies employed by the clinicians in the narrative. The discussion centres around a client's health beliefs, her feelings of decreased control, her perceptions of the illness experience and the way narrative reasoning could have improved her experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Causal attribution theory
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Health locus of control
  • Oncology

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