Topic 4 Bio-Psycho-Social model

  • The model was first advocated by George L. Engel in 1977.
  • 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.
  • The modelis an inter-disciplinary model that looks at the interconnection between biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors.
  • The model specifically examines how these aspects play a role in topics ranging from health and disease, to human development.
  • In developing the model, Engel framed this model for both illnesses and psychological problems.
  • Engel emphasized that the biomedical approach is flawed because the body alone does not contribute to illness.
  • 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.

Video explaining the parts of the Bio-Psycho-Sosial Model:

The Bio-Psycho-Social Model is both a philosophy of clinical care and a practical clinical guide.

Philosophically, it is a way of understanding how suffering, disease, and illness are affected by multiple levels of organization, from the societal to the molecular.

At the practical level, it is a way of understanding the patient’s subjective experience as an essential contributor to accurate diagnosis, health outcomes, and humane care.

«Family medicine does not separate disease from person, or person from environment»