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Neil Armstrong


Honorary Fellow

  • Lecturer and Tutor in the anthropology of religion, Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford.

I am a medical anthropologist who uses anthropological techniques to understand patient experiences.

Anthropological data gathering is quite unusual within mental healthcare. It is mostly qualitative, based on informal interviews and close observation. This allows the patient to speak for himself / herself, rather than being confined to questionnaires or restrictive interview schedules. I am particularly interested in the patient encounter with excessive and contradictory information about mental health and mental illness and the possible negative impact of this on patient health and self-management. My research will feed directly back into practice to enhance mental health services, such as the True Colours self-management system.

My interests include published memoirs by people with mental health problems, the relation between science and religion, the culture of mental healthcare and patient input into NHS publicity and information materials.

I am working on a doctoral thesis that looks at patient information from an anthropological point of view. I am an investigator on the OXTEXT 7 project and a member of the board of editors of The Psychiatrist. I  teach a course on the anthropology of religion.

Recent publications

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