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This paper appraises the issues surrounding 'compliance' from a biomedical and specifically psychiatric perspective with particular reference to the drug treatment of psychiatric patients and the influential factors in the development of health policy. I examine how existing conceptualisations fail to have a significant impact on the way people with severe mental illness (chronic disorders such as schizophrenia) interact with prescribed medication (usually neuroleptic) and explore what potential insights can be gleaned from the anthropological literature.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Social Psychiatry

Publication Date





157 - 163