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Journal Article

Transforming Health Care: Empowering Therapeutic Communities through Technology-Enhanced Narratives

Kelly Tian, Pookie Sautter, Derek Fisher, Sarah Fischbach, Cuauhtemoc Luna-Nevarez, Kevin Boberg, Jim Kroger and Richard Vann
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 41, No. 2 (August 2014), pp. 237-260
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/676311
Stable URL:
Page Count: 24
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Transforming Health Care: Empowering Therapeutic Communities through Technology-Enhanced Narratives
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Health technology innovations continue to revolutionize health care delivery but simultaneously challenge the design of services that do not marginalize human participation in the creation of value in the health care delivery process. This research recruited persons living with chronic disease to collaborate in developing information communication technologies (ICTs) conceived as a virtual reality game and web-compatible graphic novel intended to function as entertaining health education aids. The findings revealed a transformative potential for ICTs far beyond original expectations. The participants envisioned ICTs that integrate data from biophysical monitoring devices with personal narratives toward creating social platforms that empathically share a common and clear understanding of the physical, emotional, and sociocultural realities of living with chronic disease. Consistent with cultural trauma theory, the research conclusions focus on realizing the power of technology-enhanced narratives to build collaborative therapeutic communities and to provide impetus for affecting social change and action in health care systems.

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