The biophysical model is a system that helps to understand health and illness using the biological, physiological, and social issues. From the principle governing the model, all the issues regarding health are due to the complex interaction and interplay of these three factors. However, through the years, practitioners have been able to both revere and criticize the model. Generally, in simple terms, the biophysical model is mind-body connection. In 1977, George Engel developed the first model with an aim of understanding all the aspects that that contributed to the development of some specific medical circumstances. In addition, the models aim at providing the top level of patient care. To ensure that effectiveness of the model, Engel stressed on the different aspects of care including the patient, his/her social context, and measures in place to deal with the prevailing illness. Biological influence plays an important role in BPS model. In such aspect of the model, it is easy to identify and study the physiological causes of illness (Winkelman, 2010). Nevertheless, the theories supporting the model view biological factors as part of diseases that manifests itself through physiological factors in conjunction with other deciding features. According to the model, for disease to occur, the mind, body, and environment have to interact. The biological component of the models are the pathogens that accelerate illness while the physiological or behavioural components relate to potential psychological causes of health issue like lack of self-control, emotion disorders, and destructive or negative thinking methods. The social aspect of BPS model tries to explain ways in which social factors like socioeconomic status, poverty, religion, and culture affect health. From the model, it is crucial to deal with these factors collectively while handling health issues.
Influence of the Biopsychosocial Model on the Biomedical Viewpoint
Through the years of application, BPS model has met both acclaim and criticism within the medical profession. In the recent years, medical practitioners began the adoption of BPS model citing that it enhances the efforts used in ensuring quality care system. However, the proponents of the model argue that biomedical alone does not consider the factors influencing the health of the patient. While making diagnosis, it is important to consider the biological issues and physiological factors like the moods of the patient, intelligence, perception, and memory. Besides, the biomedical approach might not consider the role played by the sociological factors, thus offer less insight into how to prevent the disease. Most supporters of the model embrace the concept, mind-body connection, citing that it has been able to such the popularity of the model’s application and the basis of most programmes within the healthcare profession. Nonetheless, the opponent of the BPS model claims that it lack inherency and it is defective. In addition, they cite that the model disempowers the patients making them feel that they do not have any say in their diseases during treatment. The opponents also assert that the model offers some unscientific distinctions that occur between the biological and psychological factors (Lane, 2014). The major concern of the psychologists over the theoretical models like the BPS is that they lack scientifically proven evidence that they are accurate. However, researches have been able to carry out substantial work on the methods of interfacing modern health issues and exert improvement methods.
Currently, the biomedical models tend to dominate the medical practice. The key attribute of the model is to determine biological diseases and explain the causing caused by the external pathogens. The practitioners cite that the approach has historic justification and is effective in controlling the diseases. However, with the prevalence of the chronic non-infectious, the efficacy of the model has not only become questionable but also issues associated with economic justification have been raised. Moreover, through the extension of the biomedical approach, the psychosocial factors became imperative in the enhancement of treatment efficacy and humanization of the link between the patients of the practitioners. However, the practitioners suggested the a new BPS model that accounts for all the relevant factors that determine health and support the incorporation of biological, psychological, and social factors for assessing, preventing, and treating diseases. Moreover, the model does not diminish the important of the biological components but extends the approach. The BPS model acted as an incentive for several studies on how psychological and social factors affects the development and the outcome of the disease, which resulted in the emergence of an interdisciplinary field.
How the Interaction of Biological, Psychological, and Social Factors Influence a Person’s Health
All the components of the BPS contribute to the place in which one would be on the health continuum. It is important to note that each aspect influences the other since a decline in one aspect affects the other. Therefore, if a vicious cycle begins, then it plunges the overall health to decline. It works in all the directions; hence, by enhancing an individual’s state, the overall health also increases. By looking at only the biological aspect of a person, then such a person might not reach the maximum potential level required for wellness. Through understanding the connection that exist between the biological, psychological, and social factors, it becomes easy to acquire the elements of control. Biological and physiological health, as well as the social interaction integrated together, determines the overall picture of a person’s health. The BPS model recognizes the fact biological, psychological, and sociocultural integrated together determines the health of people and the level of their susceptibility to diseases. From the biological point, the behaviours of a person like the thoughts and moods could be due to genetic composition. In addition, the biological influence on health includes genetic, infections, and nutrition. However, there are environmental issues associated with the interaction of the people that cause the prevalence of the diseases.
The environment can alter the genetic composition, especially when exposed to hazardous conditions. Social factors like poverty are some of the factors that might push people to live in areas with poor environmental conditions, which over a long period could affect the future generation. With respect to psychological influences, it is significant that the healthcare provider looks at the underlying psychological factors contributing to the development of the patient’s conditions (Fukudo, 2011). Furthermore, several psychological factors contribute to diseases like depression, lack of adequate self-control, and uncontrolled negative thought patterns. The social influence of the model tends to examine the illness from the sociological point of view. Living below the poverty line and inadequate level of sociability might lead to depression, which in turn contributes to the declining health conditions. Consideration of the economic standpoints, religion, and technology are important roles in creating diseases. Under the conditions in which a person falls ill and requires immediate medical attention, with limited disposable income, the health condition might decline further posing serious health risks due to reduced immunity. Personal belief systems also contribute to the development of illness, especially if the patient does not believe in the modern forms of treatment. At personal level, the level of hygiene matters especially while living in areas with poor environmental conditions due to financial state. These conditions make people susceptible to pathogens and other disease causing microorganisms. The families could also provide wide range of both positive and negative influences on matters relating to health and psychological adjustment of the patient’s condition. Family support could reduce the impact of disease associated with stressful events, which helps the patient to cope with the prevailing situation and encourage them to comply with medical regimes.
Hypothetical Scenario That Illustrate Ways in Which All Three Factors Interact and Influence an Individual’s Health and Well-Being
Considering the case of John who had a physical job, he worked in animal orphanage and spent much of his leisure time training the dogs and competing with them for agility. However, he had a strong social network, which made him have a happy and a cheerful character. Within the firm, he earned less income, which means he never had surpluses but managed that money efficiently to prevent any debt. Therefore, he enjoyed and fully engaged his life. After a while, John began experiencing widespread pain, which made him feel fatigued even after having adequate sleep. Besides, he had problems concentrating and later began experiencing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. In order to work effectively, he had to reduce some of his leisure activities to a point of non-existent level but after a short while, he could never manage to go to work, so he was given some medical severance. It took approximately two years to diagnose the diseases and find that he was suffering from fibromyalgia. During that time, he had already reduced some of her leisure activities to walking shortly with a dog on daily basis while at the same time interacting with only his friends who came to visit. On several occasions, she struggled waking up so early due to pain and stiffness, regular headaches, and tired. At this point, he began experiencing depression that later contributed to him struggling to pay the household bills.
Fukudo, S. (2011). A neurological approach to biopsychosocial medicine: Lessons from irritable bowel syndrome. BioPsychoSocial Med, 5(1), 1-14.
Lane, R. D. (2014). Is it possible to bridge the Biopsychosocial and Biomedical models? BioPsychoSocial Med, 8(1), 3-11.
Winkelman, M. (2010). Shamanism: A biopsychosocial paradigm of consciousness and healing. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

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