Narrative meaning making and integration: Toward a better understanding of the way falling ill influences quality of life

Iris Hartog, Michael Scherer-Rath, Renske Kruizinga, Justine Netjes, José Henriques, Pythia Nieuwkerk, Mirjam Sprangers, Hanneke van Laarhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Falling seriously ill is often experienced as a life event that causes conflict with people's personal goals and expectations in life and evokes existential questions. This article presents a new humanities approach to the way people make meaning of such events and how this influences their quality of life. Incorporating theories on contingency, narrative identity, and quality of life, we developed a theoretical model entailing the concepts life event, worldview, ultimate life goals, experience of contingency, narrative meaning making, narrative integration, and quality of life. We formulate testable hypotheses and describe the self-report questionnaire that was developed based on the model
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-754
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of health psychology
Issue number6
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • biographical disruption
  • contingency
  • interpretation
  • life events
  • life goals
  • meaning making
  • narrative integration
  • quality of life
  • worldview

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