The World Health Organization (n.d.) identifies health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being” (p. 1). This quote refers to the notion that health should not be reduced to a single, biological source; rather, biology must be considered in relation to other psychological and social factors. George Engel, a psychiatrist in the 1970s, developed the biopsychosocial model to avoid the pitfalls of reductionism so often associated with the traditional medical model. A practitioner using the model to diagnose and treat depression might consider the patient’s family history of depression (biological factor), life stressors, such as the loss of a job (psychological factors), and level of social support from family and friends (social factor). In this discussion, you will explore the biopsychosocial model in more detail and how it can be applied to a variety of different health issues.
World Health Organization (n.d.). Constitution of WHO: Principles. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/about/mission/en/