Vulnerable story telling: Narrative research in nursing

Immy Holloway, Dawn Freshwater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to explore the notion of the vulnerable in telling their stories. There are many reasons for vulnerable people to tell their stories, some of which are described here. Through stories, participants in research come to understand their experience, legitimise their behaviour and share their emotional experience with others in holistic form which is not 'fractured' or disrupted by researchers. Stories of people in physical or mental pain, or of those who experience illness and disability, are not often heard; narrative inquiry centres on their perspectives and perceptions. The authors attempt to show that in the telling of stories, research participants have the potential to regain the power to shape their own world and identity. It also demonstrates that there is more than one reality, beyond the beliefs and perspectives of health professionals. The focus of the paper is on the role of narrative research in nursing and the way in which it enhances the understanding of professionals in order to engage with vulnerability and assist vulnerable people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-711
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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