Dr. Clive Baldwin and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative have earned $50,000 of funding from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) to develop a program on narrative care.
The research team, consisting of Dr. Baldwin, Canada Research Chair in Narrative Studies, Dr. Bill Randall (Gerontology), Dr. Gul Caliskan (Sociology), Dolores Furlong (UNB Nursing), Dr. Marcea Ingersoll (School of Education), and Dr. Matte Robinson (English), is working to develop a program that will bring proven benefits of narrative care—or life-story work—to health care providers.

Without the funding from the NBIF, Dr. Baldwin said this project wouldn’t be possible.

“Without this funding the project would not take place. We’re pleased that NBIF recognizes the innovative nature of narrative care, and are willing to support this endeavor,” he said.

Narrative care is an evolving concept and practice that focuses on storytelling to bring about improvements in health and well-being. Evidence shows that narrative-based interventions can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness, and lack of meaning.

 “We are planning to develop a ‘train-the-trainer’ program, in which we will train individuals to facilitate narrative activities with older adults either individually or in groups,” Baldwin said.

“Through this approach we hope to develop capacity in narrative care, and to provide wider access to narrative care in the province.  We will also be adding to the evidence base for the effectiveness and usefulness of narrative in promoting well-being.”

The money from the grant will be used to provide a doctoral or post-doctoral opportunity for an emerging health or social care researcher who will work closely with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative to develop the program.

“If all goes well, we will then approach Springboard to develop copyright-able materials for use free for charge by NB community groups, residential facilities, church groups, and so on, and for commercial sale more broadly,” Baldwin said.

Dr. Baldwin is a professor in the School of Social Work.