Bio-Psychosocial Model of Health and Illness Essay

4504 Words Nov 17th, 2012 19 Pages


The medical model has been the predominant approach used by physicians in diagnosing and management of diseases and illness in most Western countries. The biomedical model of illness and healing focuses on purely biological factors, and excludes psychological, environmental, and social influences. According to this model, good health is the freedom from pain, disease, or defect. It focuses on physical processes that affect health, such as the biochemistry, physiology, and pathology of a condition. It does not account for social or psychological factors that could have a role in the illness. In this model, each illness has one underlying cause, and once that cause is removed,
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On this assumption, any case of mental abnormality was referred to a medical professional, (Alloy, Jaconson, Acocella,(1999). According to the proponent of this model, the abnormal behavior should best be handled by physicians in hospitals and by means of drugs and that the whole problem of deviant behavior should be conceptualized in medical terms such as symptoms, syndromes, pathology, mental illness, patient, diagnosis, treatment and cure,(Price,1978).

The medical model introduced objectivity in the understanding and management of diseases and illnesses by applying scientific methods of research, diagnosis and treatment. The model has also given insight into the causes of some conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, an organic condition causing confusion in the elderly, (Alloy, Jaconson, Acocella, (1999).
According to Sarason, & Sarason (2005), by use of the biological model, treatment is quick and, relative to alternatives, and sometimes cheap and easy to administer. It has proved to be effective in controlling serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia allowing patients who would otherwise have to remain in hospital rather than to live at home.
Finally the sickness label has reduced the fear of those with mental disorders. This is because historically, they were thought to be possessed by evil spirits or the devil, majority of them especially women, who were burned as witches,

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