How to communicate in physiotherapy: a narrative approach
published in July - August 2019 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.4
Massimiliano Marinelli

This paper aims to show the physiotherapist who wishes to adopt a person-centred care approach how to implement an ethically based narrative approach through a specific communication platform. By narrative approach, we intend a point of view that privileges the conception of the illness as experienced by the patient and family members, rather than taking into consideration only the physical work of rehabilitation on the body district concerned. The narrative approach is linked indissolubly to a humanitarian ethos, which every health professional should possess, and its primary goal is to accept and welcome the patient’s agenda, that is what the particular patient intends to bring to the physiotherapist. Patients, in fact, do not go to an appointment as a tabula rasa, but each one has a set of priorities that represent their agenda, i.e. what they would like to discuss with the health professional.
These priorities reflect the dimensions of the agenda, namely: the context, the ideas and representations, the wishes and expectations, and finally the feelings and emotions that the person manifests.
The narrative approach must be part of a rigorous and validated framework, or communication platform, capable of effectively guiding it towards an agreed care plan. The latest version of the Calgary Cambridge Guide is the platform that appears closest to the claims above and one which lends itself naturally to embodying the narrative approach and its values.