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  7. Research Degree - The reclamation of patient narrative: Interrogating patient experience of genetic conditions through film

Research Degree - The reclamation of patient narrative: Interrogating patient experience of genetic conditions through film

Research centre
Art and Design Research Centre

Date
2009 - 2014

Research Degree Project

In 2005 I tested positively for the E-Cadherin mutation, which gave me an eighty per cent chance of developing Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC). The therapeutic options available were endoscopic surveillance, still unproven, or a prophylactic gastrectomy, which I underwent in 2006.

My experience of HDGC informs my PhD research and provides a site for my investigations into patient narrative. Spoken of in many different ways, narrative lies at some exciting disciplinary intersections and this project involves dialogue between fine art and filmmaking, psychoanalytic theory, philosophy, medicine, and healthcare.

I am employing filmmaking to explore the relations between the patient experience, its representation, and its communication as narrative. I ask how patient narrative can be explored through film, unravelling the concept of patient narrative, and proposing that the structure and particularity of filmmaking reveals the elements of individual patient narratives, often cited as ineffable.

In the context of imposed genetic diagnosis, the retelling of patient narratives through film presents the possibility for the reclamation of this narrative through its reconstruction.

Project Supervisors

Researchers involved

Emma O'Connor  - Research Degree Student

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