The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Macy Faculty Scholar

A Year-Long Narrative Medicine Intervention to Improve Interprofessional Practice in Three Primary Care Practices

In 2015, Narrative Medicine faculty member Deepthiman Gowda was selected as a Macy Faculty Scholar, which provided funding for his project examining the impact of Narrative Medicine on interprofessional team functioning in primary care clinics.

Interprofessional education and practice (IPE/IPP) is central to the delivery of quality health care. Although IPE/IPP aims to improve clinical outcomes, many interventions remain outside of clinical settings. Narrative Medicine implemented in clinical settings may be a particularly effective way to enhance IPE/IPP given its focus on facilitating meaningful conversations about health care and strengthening relationships.

In March 2016, Dr. Gowda and his research team—Dorene Balmer, PhD, Apurva Khedagi, MS, Urmi Desai, MD, Tayla Curran, MS, Michael Mangold, MS, and Faiz Jiwani, MS—began a year-long Narrative Medicine intervention in three primary care clinics in New York City (family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics). The monthly sessions lasted 30-40 minutes during required interprofessional team meetings with attending physicians, residents, nurses, medical assistants, social workers, and other staff.

To augment qualitative data, the research team administered four instruments to team members: pre- and post-intervention to assess burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory), engagement (Utrecht Work Engagement Scale), empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index), and team characteristics (Team Development Measure).

Grant Duration: July 2015 – June 2017