The medical model and other constructions of self-neglect


W. Lauder Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Stirling, Highland Campus, Old Perth Road, Inverness IV2 3FG, United Kingdom. Fax: +01 4637 13471 Email: <>


Nurses frequently encounter patients who neglect their personal hygiene and household cleanliness. Self-neglect is usually understood within the parameters of the medical model, with its need to objectify and categorize. The medicalization of self-neglect obscures the fact that patients and professionals may have different ideas about what self-neglect is and what it is not. This paper explores how the medical construction of self-neglect has come to dominate the self-neglect discourse and will also explore other possible ways of understanding self-neglect.