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Know About Biopsychosocial Model of Health

know about biopsychosocial model of health
HWC Team
December26/ 2015


According to this biopsychosocial model as developed by George L. Engle, the biological, social and psychological factors determine a person’s final health related outcomes. So the cause, manifestation and the result of any disease are all inter-related. Against the earlier belief that one of these factors was enough to change the action plan, this model argues that interplay between the three is a prerequisite.

The Biological Influence on Health

The influence of genetics, physical trauma, toxins, nutrition, hormones and infections are some of the biological influences on health and illness. In the case of schizophrenia, if one monozygotic twin has the disease then there are more than 50 percent chances that the co-twin will also develop the same.  Genetics here plays an important role in this disorder. Again since almost the remaining 40 percent do not develop this disease, it suggests that genes are always not responsible. Sometimes non-biological factors also play a role when this disorder arises for the ones with a track record of genetic risk.

The Psychological Influences

The potential psychological factors that help to contribute towards the development of the health problem is the psychological component of this model. When you undergo an emotional turmoil, pursue negative thinking or when you lack self-control, all of which shape up this side of the model. Those of you who have a genetic history are prone to this a little more and are pushed towards negative thinking or depression.

These psychological factors can further aggravate a biological tendency and move that person towards precarious unhealthy condition. Depression does not cause any liver problem directly but when somebody is under depression he takes recourse to alcohol and develop liver problems. The more risk you take, the more are you exposed to the likelihood of a disease.

The Social Influences

Culture, technology, religion and socioeconomic status are the pillars that form the social factors. When somebody loses a job or ends up a relationship, he might be stressed and be more prone to illness. So these kinds of negative life events push a person towards depression and increase the physical health problems. We are all aware of these mental disorders like anorexia nervosa (when there is a loss of weight purposefully despite evident low body weight). Some social expectations from the media or the fashion world unnecessarily promote unhealthy living standards and promote thinness over health.  There is lot of expectation and pressure from this world to reach out to this body image irrespective of apparent health risks.

The Cultural Factors

There are culture variations that differ in circumstances, belief systems and expectations also play a major role to the rise of disorder symptoms. The non western cultures do not promote anorexia as much as western cultures too. The rates of diseases and illnesses also vary across a single city to lower and higher income areas. It has been researched that those who are exposed to poverty are more prone to developing depression with genetic disorders.

Application of the Model

Since the biopsychosocial model harps on the fact that interaction between body, mind and environment are interrelated so an influence of its combination is felt in a person’s health condition. His health improves with correct nutrition, proper medication and being engaged in a physical activity.

HWC Team

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