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Biomedicine in museums

Compliance and public understanding of (public engagement with) medical science

Has anyone come across a study of medical compliance from a public understanding of/engagement with science perspective? Or vice versa? I’m asking, because I think there is an interesting conceptual overlap between medical compliance and public understanding/engagement with medicine.

Compliance (or adherance or concordance) is the term used by medical professionals to describe how (if ever) patients follow an advised treatment regime, e.g., taking prescribed drugs. The public’s understanding of, and engagement with, medical science and medical authority is not the only factor that accounts for compliance, but it is probably a major one.

There is quite a lot written in the medical literature about compliance, but as far as I can see, this literature does not contain any explicit references to the literature on public understanding of/engagement with science. Yet I believe something interesting might come out of a more systematic juxtaposition of these two traditions. Compliance studies usually deal with the behaviour of individual patients versus the health system, whereas studies of public understanding of/engagement with science often operate on the level of discourse analysis.

Any suggestions?

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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