McGill Illness Narrative Interview (MINI)
The McGill Illness Narrative Interview is a semi-structured interview protocol for eliciting symptom experience, illness narratives, and help-seeking in health research. It aims to collect rich narrative material which can be used for qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Its distinctive features include an effort to allow the production of multiple narratives: i) a basic narrative account structured by contiguity, ii) a prototype narrative, centered on previous experiences with similar conditions, and an explanatory model narrative organized in terms of explicit knowledge of causes, mechanisms, or other cultural models of process. The MINI has been translated and used in cross-cultural research in many cultures and contexts, to explore diverse health issues and conditions including: breast feeding, depression, diabetes, medically unexplained symptoms, myocardial infarction, non-epileptic seizures, scleroderma, severe mental illness.
Groleau, D., Young, A., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2006). The McGill Illness Narrative Interview (MINI): an interview schedule to elicit meanings and modes of reasoning related to illness experience. Transcultural Psychiatry, 43(4), 671-691.
Translated Versions of the MINI
Albanian (Blerta Salihaj and the Kosovo Health Foundation)
French (Danielle Groleau)
Luganda (Modified to explore caregiver perceptions of patient's experience - Wilson Winstons Muhwezi)
Nepali (Ram Prasad Sapkota)
Norwegian (Hilde Thørnqvist)
Portuguese (Brazil) (Erotildes Maria Leal)
Sami (Hilde Thørnqvist)
Spanish (Irene Hofmeijer, Consuelo Errazuriz and Fannie Martel)
Tibetan (Sienna Craig)
If you have new translations or publications related to the MINI please let us know so we can keep this resource page up-to-date.
Studies Using the MINI
Craig, S. R., Chase, L., & Lama, T. N. (2010). Taking the MINI to Mustang, Nepal: Methodological and epistemological translations of an illness narrative tool. Anthropology & Medicine, 17(1), 1-26.
Dickinson, P., Looper, K. J., & Groleau, D. (2011). Patients diagnosed with nonepileptic seizures: Their perspectives and experiences. Epilepsy & Behavior : E&B.
Douine, M., Bouchaud, O., Moro, M. R., Baubet, T., & Taieb, O. (2012). [Representations and illness narratives in migrants HIV-patients originating from West Africa]. Presse Med, 41(4), e204-212. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2011.09.029
Galdas, P. M., & Kang, H. B. (2010). Punjabi Sikh patients' cardiac rehabilitation experiences following myocardial infarction: a qualitative analysis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(21-22), 3134-3142.
Galdas, P. M., Oliffe, J. L., Kang, H. B., & Kelly, M. T. (2012). Punjabi Sikh patients' perceived barriers to engaging in physical exercise following myocardial infarction. Public Health Nurs, 29(6), 534-541. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2012.01009.x
Groleau, D., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2004). Sociosomatic theory in Vietnamese immigrants' narratives of distress. Anthropology & Medicine, 11(2), 117-133.
Groleau, D., Whitley, R., Lesperance, F., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). Spiritual reconfigurations of self after a myocardial infarction: Influence of culture and place. Health & Place, 16(5), 853-860.
Kirmayer, L. J., Groleau, D., Looper, K. J., & Dao, M. D. (2004). Explaining medically unexplained symptoms. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(10), 663-672.
Knaus, V. (Ed.). (2012). Silent Harm: A Report Assessing the Situation of Repatriated Children's Psycho-social Health. Kosovo: UNICEF Kosovo.
Lee, B. O., Kirmayer, L. J., & Groleau, D. (2010). Therapeutic Processes and Perceived Helpfulness of Dang-Ki (Chinese Shamanism) from the Symbolic Healing Perspective. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 34(1), 56-105.
Lucas, H., Ding, S., & Bloom, G. (2008). What do we mean by ‘major illness’? The need for new approaches to research on the impact of ill-health on poverty. Studies in HSO&P, 23, 29-53.
Muhwezi, W. W. (2007). The Interface Between Family Structure, Life Events and Major Depression in Uganda. Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
Muhwezi, W. W., Kinyanda, E., Mungherera, M., Onyango, P., Ngabirano, E., Muron, J., . . . Kajungu, R. (2011). Vulnerability to high risk sexual behaviour (HRSB) following exposure to war trauma as seen in post-conflict communities in eastern uganda: a qualitative study. Conflict & Health, 5, 22. doi: 10.1186/1752-1505-5-22
Muhwezi, W. W., Okello, E. S., Neema, S., & Musisi, S. (2008). Caregivers' experiences with major depression concealed by physical illness in patients recruited from central Ugandan Primary Health Care Centers. Qualitative Health Research, 18(8), 1096-1114.
Newton, E. G., Thombs, B. D., & Groleau, D. (2012). The experience of emotional distress among women with scleroderma. Qualitative Health Research, 22(9), 1195-1206.
Stern, L., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2004). Knowledge structures in illness narratives: development and reliability of a coding scheme. Transcultural Psychiatry, 41(1), 130-142.
Whitley, R., Kirmayer, L. J., & Groleau, D. (2006). Public pressure, private protest: Illness narratives of West Indian immigrants in Montreal with medically unexplained symptoms. Anthropology and Medicine, 13(3), 193-205.
Whitley, R., Kirmayer, L. J., & Groleau, D. (2006). Understanding immigrants' reluctance to use mental health services: a qualitative study from Montreal. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51(4), 205-209.
Coutu, M. F., Durand, M. J., Baril, R., Labrecque, M. E., Ngomo, S., Cote, D., et al. (2008). A review of assessment tools of illness representations: are these adapted for a work disability prevention context? J Occup Rehabil, 18(4), 347-361.
Groleau, D., Pluye, P., & Nadeau, L. (2007). A mixed-method approach to the cultural understanding of distress and the non-use of mental health services Journal of Mental Health, 16(6), 731-741.
Groleau, D., Souliere, M., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2006). Breastfeeding and the cultural configuration of social space among Vietnamese immigrant woman. Health Place, 12(4), 516-526.
Groleau, D., Zelkowitz, P., & Cabral, I. E. (2009). Enhancing generalizability: moving from an intimate to a political voice. Qualitative Health Research, 19(3), 416-426.
Haidet, P., O'Malley, K. J., Sharf, B. F., Gladney, A. P., Greisinger, A. J., & Street, R. L., Jr. (2008). Characterizing explanatory models of illness in healthcare: development and validation of the CONNECT instrument. Patient education and counseling, 73(2), 232-239.
Kirmayer, L. J., & Bhugra, D. (2009). Culture and mental illness: social context and explanatory models. In I. M. Salloum & J. E. Mezzich (Eds.), Psychiatric Diagnosis: Patterns and Prospects (pp. 29-37). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Rock, M., & Babinec, P. (2010). Prototypes connect human diabetes with feline and canine diabetes in the context of animal-human bonds: An anthropological analysis. Anthrozoös, 23(1), 5-20.
Rudell, K., Bhui, K., & Priebe, S. (2009). Concept, development and application of a new mixed method assessment of cultural variations in illness perceptions: Barts Explanatory Model Inventory. Journal of Health Psychology, 14(2), 336-347.