Conceptualizing Narrative Health and Medicine to Develop Cultural Competence to Improve Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Main Article Content

Kent Willis
Colleen Marzilli


Narrative health is a technique that healthcare professionals can use to connect with patients. The events of 2020, including the global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have identified that patient care is largely dependent upon relationships within the healthcare environment. Relationships in the healthcare environment are established through a trusting exchange between the patient and provider, and one technique to develop this relationship and trust is through narrative health. Narrative health provides the exchange of information between patient and provider in a discussion-like manner, or narrative health. This strategy promotes cultural competence amongst the healthcare professional team and improves communication between the patient and provider. Narrative health is an important concept for healthcare professionals to understand, and narrative health should be a part of any healthcare professional’s toolbox, especially in vulnerable times like the COVID pandemic. The inclusion of narrative health in practice has the potential to improve patient outcomes and empower healthcare professionals and patients.

Article Details

How to Cite
Willis, K., & Marzilli, C. (2021). Conceptualizing Narrative Health and Medicine to Develop Cultural Competence to Improve Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic . Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 8(1), 32-36.
Author Biographies

Kent Willis, University of Texas Health Science at Tyler

Dr. Kent L. Willis is an educator, coach, and mentor. Serving as the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness & Engagement at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, he is active in higher education leadership. With experience in secondary and post-secondary education; his research interests include college and career readiness as well as school-based health promotion and education policy. Actively involved in research and scholarship, he serves as a reviewer for academic journals published by the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) and the Collaborative Educational Programs for the Americas (CEPA).

Colleen Marzilli

Colleen Marzilli, PhD, DNP, MBA, RN-BC, CCM, PHNA-BC, NEA-BC, FNAP is an Associate Professor of Nursing. She is an alumni of UTTyler and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis. She has taught at UTTyler since 2009. She teaches and serves undergraduate and graduate nursing students while conducting research in cultural competence, health disparities, health systems issues, and leadership. She empowers students and promoting student success by serving students as a role model for professionalism and excellence. She has numerous publications, book chapters, podium and poster presentations, and has given lectures internationally. She serves the profession as a peer-reviewer for several research journals, grants, and conferences. 

She has led in many capacities including on the board of UT Health East Texas; Sigma, the International Honor Society for Nursing; Texas Nurses Association; and the Global Education Development Institute. She is a proud member of the President’s Inaugural Cohort is Executive Fellows. She is an alumni of Leadership Texas 2018, Leadership Pipeline, and Leadership Tyler Class 32.

Dr. Marzilli is passionate about international exchanges and has studied and led students in Cuba, China, Armenia, Guatemala, and England.


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