Using the Transformative Storytelling Technique to Generate Empowering Narratives for Informal Caregivers: Semistructured Interviews, Thematic Analysis, and Method Demonstration

Milica Petrovic*, Silvia Bonanno, Marta Landoni, Chiara Ionio, Mariët Hagedoorn, Andrea Gaggioli

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The transformative storytelling technique is an innovative top-down approach to narrative therapy that aims to provide building blocks for creating flourishing narratives for target groups or populations. This approach acts as a facilitator for implementing the human-centered design in developing digital self-help tools for larger samples or target groups.

Objective: This study applied the transformative storytelling technique, as a new approach in mental health, to develop empowering audio narratives for informal caregivers.

Methods: A narrative inquiry was conducted with 17 informal caregivers (16 women and 1 man) who completed a semistructured interview, “Caregiver Life Story,” acquiring information about the beginning of the role, rising action, and critical point of the role. The participants' ages ranged from 41 to 84 years, with all participants providing care for at least a 6-month period. This inquiry was guided by the transformative storytelling technique, and aimed to collect data relevant to creating fictional stories based on real-life themes.

Results: Twenty-five overall themes were distinguished across three a priori-set categories, providing narrative building blocks for the informal caregiver life stories. The final empowering caregiver life story was created as an example for this study, demonstrating the application of the transformative storytelling technique in an informal care context.

Conclusions: The creation of empowering stories for populations or target groups in mental health care requires a unified and guided approach that will follow clear guidelines and storytelling principles. The transformative storytelling technique is a first of its kind in the mental health context, representing an initial step in enabling and supporting the creation of meaningful stories and the development of relatable, but productive, narratives. Such narratives have the potential to serve across media and digital platforms for supporting and improving well-being, and potentially triggering self-change in the target group or population.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftJMIR formative research
Nummer van het tijdschrift8
StatusPublished - 1-aug.-2022

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