Reducing resistance to diabetes treatment using short narrative interventions

Moshe Mishali, Luba Sominsky, Anthony David Heymann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: This article presents a narrative-based technique, which allows medical personnel to empower patients with diabetes and improve adherence.

METHODS: The study was undertaken in Maccabi Healthcare Services, among 123 patients diagnosed with diabetes. Four empathic narratives were constructed, referring to different factors influencing resistance to treatment, as were identified by the Resistance to Treatment Questionnaire. Each narrative contains statements typical for patients whose resistance to treatment is influenced by a particular factor. An Empathic Narratives Evaluation Questionnaire was designed for this study. It contained three items, assessing the correlation of a specific empathic narrative with the patient's attitude and their reasons for resistance to treatment. The patients were asked to indicate whether they recognize these narratives as describing their reasons for resistance. Three empathic narratives were read to each patient: two narratives were matched for the two major categories of resistance for each patient and one narrative related to a category of resistance that received the lowest score.

RESULTS: The narratives were found to correspond to the core reasons for resistance to diabetes treatment. Significant difference was found also between the scores of the empathic narrative related to the second strongest reason for resistance to treatment and the empathic narrative related to the weakest reason for resistance to treatment. This finding supports testimonial validity of the narratives.

CONCLUSION: Short narrative interventions demonstrated in this study can be used by health care professionals as a working tool that provides the possibility reducing the patient's reasons for resistance to treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-7
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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