Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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Turning points are considered to refer to emotional and important events. The present study compared turning point memories to other memories on several ratings and investigated the association between turning points, distress and meaning. Memories may act as organising units in extended narratives, hence the study also tested whether overlap between memories and extended illness narrative was associated with a more coherent narrative. Fifteen patients with breast cancer were asked to tell a 10-minute narrative about their illness course and describe meaning in their illness.Each patient was asked to recall five memories, to state whether or not the memories were turning points, and to rate memories on both event and phenomenological variables.Lastly, the patients were asked to rate distress. The narratives were scored for coherence and the memories were scored for thematic content as well as thematic overlap with the narratives. The results showed that all participants rated the mammography as a turning point and that turning points were rated higher on both event and phenomenological variables. Patients reporting more turning points also reported more distress and not finding meaning in the illness and treatment. High degree of overlap between memories and narratives showed a trend towards an association with a more coherent narrative. The present article discusses processes, which may be involved in the interaction between memories and narratives.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Distress; Meaning; Memory; Narrative; Turning point
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