Towards a narrative cardiology: exploring, holding and re-presenting narratives of heart disease

Giovanni Biglino*, Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci, Massimo Caputo, Havi Carel, Brian Hurwitz, Sofie Layton, Jonathan Stretton-Downes, Navneeta Tiwari, Jo Wray, Maria Vaccarella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
267 Downloads (Pure)


Is it a pump or is it a pearl?

Is it a muscle or is it a whale?

Is that a scar or is it a medal?

Heart symbolism goes beyond religious iconography and pop culture; it is imbued with experiential significance. But how to reconcile stories of heart disease and patients’ perceptions of their hearts with the more technical, anatomical and physiological dimensions of the organ? And why? These were the two fundamental questions underpinning a recent workshop exploring the possibility of a “narrative cardiology” (a tentative definition of a research and teaching area, itself explored during the event), which could help us find answers to these questions. The meeting (Figure 1) was held in Bristol at the Chocolate Factory, a creative space including artist studios in the city centre, and organised by the Bristol Heart Institute (GB) in collaboration with the Department of English (MV) of the University of Bristol with the support of the British Heart Foundation and under the auspices of the Centre for Health Humanities and Science (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalCardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number1
Early online date10 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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  • NIHR BRC Cardiovascular

    Angelini, G. D.


    Project: Research, Parent

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