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PSY 4400 W1 Assignment Biopsychosocial-Cultural Model

PSY 4400 W1 Assignment Biopsychosocial-Cultural Model

 

The biopsychosocial model was first proposed by George L. Engel and Jon Romano of the University of Rochester in 1977.[1] As opposed to the biomedical approach, Engel strived for a more holistic approach by recognizing that each patient has his or her own thoughts, feelings, and history.[2][non-primary source needed] In developing the model, Engel framed this model for both illnesses and psychological problems.

The biopsychosocial model reflects the development of illness through the complex interaction of biological factors (genetic, biochemical, etc.), psychological factors (mood, personality, behavior, etc.) and social factors (cultural, familial, socioeconomic, medical, etc.).[2][non-primary source needed][3][non-primary source needed] For example, a person may have a genetic predisposition for depression, but he or she must have social factors such as extreme stress at work and family life and psychological factors such as a perfectionistic tendencies which all trigger this genetic code for depression. A person may have a genetic predisposition for a disease, but social and cognitive factors must trigger the illness.

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Specifically, Engel revolutionized medical thinking by re-proposing a separation of body and mind. The idea of mind–body dualism goes back at least to René Descartes, but was forgotten during the biomedical approach. Engel emphasized that the biomedical approach is flawed because the body alone does not contribute to illness.[4] Instead, the individual mind (psychological and social factors) plays a significant role in how an illness is caused and how it is treated. Engel proposes a dialogue between the patient and the doctor in order to find the most effective treatment solution.[5]

Similarly, materialistic and reductionist ideas proposed with the biomedical model are flawed because they cannot be verified on a cellular level (according to Engel).[6] Instead, the proposed model focuses on the research of past psychologists such as Urie Bronfenbrenner, popularized by his belief that social factors play a role in developing illnesses and behaviors. Simply, Engel used Bronfenbrenner’s research as a column of his biopsychosocial model and framed this model to display health at the center of social, psychological, and biological aspects.

After publication, the biopsychosocial model was adopted by the World Health Organization in 2002 as a basis for the International Classification of Function (ICF).[7]

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