Forty years after the Italian Law no. 180/1978 that reformed psychiatry in Italy, some focal points are analyzed in order to assess how effectively they have been implemented. Among others, the following aspects are discussed: the overcoming role of the concept of dangerousness in psychiatry, the limitation of institutional chronicity, the attenuation of stigma, the centrality of work in the community, and the admissions within the general hospital. It is argued that the goals of the Italian Law on Psychiatric Reform have not been reached because of intrinsic limits of the Law itself, deep limitations of Italian psychiatry in building new models and its difficulty in becoming a real counterpart in negotiation within increasingly fragmented and hospitalized healthcare management.
Keywords: Italian Law 180/1978; Dangerousness in psychiatry; Chronicity; Stigma; Psychiatry in General Hospital