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Diagnosis of “acopia”: prescription for neglect?

Zoe Hodges (Zoe Hodges is Social Worker and Team Lead at Adult Services, Cardiff, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 18 May 2021

Issue publication date: 23 June 2021




This paper aims to reflect upon the usefulness of the word “acopia” as a diagnosis in relation to individuals in hospital.


A response to existing literature and consideration of application to practice with adults who may be vulnerable.


The term “acopia” is derived from medicine but has gained popularity throughout health and social care. It is a term that has no diagnostic tool or agreed characteristics.

Practical implications

Practitioners across a number of professional disciplines need to be aware of the individual circumstances, preferences and priorities of individuals to secure the most appropriate care and support for each person. Failure to acknowledge complexity of an individual’s presenting condition at hospital admission may have fatal consequences.


The importance of language used to refer to adults who are likely to be vulnerable may influence the quality of the care and treatment that they receive.



Hodges, Z. (2021), "Diagnosis of “acopia”: prescription for neglect?", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 191-198.



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