A Comparison Between Biopsychosocial Model and Biomedical Model

Differentiate Between Biopsychosocial Model vs. Biomedical Model

The biomedical model refers to an illnesses conceptualization framework where, prognosis, causes, treatment, and diagnosis are solely viewed based on physical and biological factors. The model pays negligible attention to the attributes of environmental, psychological, social, and spiritual diseases. The model is mostly used in clinical practices in that it is used in systematically handling health concerns in individuals who are ill. The model directs physicians’ decision-making, assessment, critical thinking, diagnosis, and treatment to guarantee the best patient outcomes (Mazzotta, 2016). The biomedical model requires that disease be handled with an entity independent of social behavior. It also demands that behavioral aberrations be described based on disordered somatic processes including neurophysiological or biochemical (Wade & Halligan, 2017). The biomedical model according to Wade and Halligan (2017) puts forth a perception that a person who feels sick though with normal laboratory results is healthy and an individual feeling well but with abnormal laboratory results is unhealthy. It is, therefore, unable to explain this kind of human health or disease discrepancy.

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On the contrary, the biopsychosocial model measures the comparative contribution of biological, psychological, and social factors in patient-hood status. It assists a healthcare giver to better understand the role of different factors responsible for disease development and offers patients extra comprehensive preventive information, including how they can adjust their lifestyle to improve their quality of life. The biopsychosocial model helps in addressing aspects of health ignored by the biomedical model. It put into consideration the modern age diseases such as cancers and coronary heart disease that are related to established social and psychological elements to their causation. Psychological factors that include perceived life control and high self-esteem have been attributed to various health-promoting behaviors such as a balanced diet, exercise, avoiding smoking, and avoiding excess alcohol. It also considers social factors such as lack of social participation, loneliness, unemployment effect, and their relation to poor health outcomes. The bio-psychosocial model directs the medical wisdom availability for the benefit of every patient individually resulting in enhanced satisfaction and improved treatment plan adherence. However, unlike the biomedical model, the biopsychosocial model is said to be expensive and time-consuming to apply (Syed, Syed & Bhardwaj, 2020).   

Factors of Biopsychosocial Model and Biomedical Model

The biopsychosocial model is an interdisciplinary model that focuses on different factors including biological, psychological, and social, and how they influence people’s health. The biological factor focuses on aspects such as physical health including cells, tissues, organs and organs system, nervous system, drugs effects, and genetic vulnerabilities. The psychological factors focus person’s experience and behaviors and how they influence individual self-esteem, mental health, coping skills, social skills, family relationship, perception of self, and how an individual perceives the world.  Other psychological factors include self-efficacy, anxiety, anger, depression, catastrophic thinking, perceived control, and hyper-vigilance. The social factor focuses on individual relations with others including family members, peers, community, and individual culture. It also considers family circumstances.

Other social factors include social support, operant, socioeconomic status, social learning, and skepticism (Farre & Rapley, 2017; Taukeni, 2020). The biomedical model on the other hand only focuses on the biological aspect of health and drugs interaction. It focuses on the alteration of biological aspects of the body including organs and organs systems, skeletal system, nerve system, cells, or any other physical aspects whose condition can be assessed in the laboratory and tangible results obtained. It also centers on the interaction of the body and drugs during treatment. Biomedical focuses more on medical treatment or administration of drugs or any other medical procedure meant to treat an illness caused by a pathogen or change of physical or biological body condition. The main biological factors include genetics, physiology, tissue health, and neurochemistry (Farre & Rapley, 2017).

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The Role of Biological, Psychological, and Social Factors as it Relates to Health and Illness

Biological factors include gender, genetic influences, nutrition, hormone levels, and brain chemistry. In most cases, the alteration of the normal states of these factors can easily result in some illnesses. The interaction between biological factors and pathogen causes the alterations of these factors of their related system, which result in a disease or illness. Ensuring normal operation of all physical and biological body system result to good health (Syed, Syed & Bhardwaj, 2020). Psychological factors such as stress are likely to alter the hormonal balance in the body resulting in a physical manifestation of a disease.

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Also, some behaviors such as drinking excessively to avoid a stressful life situation can result in other unintended health issues such as liver cancer. One can also develop a coping mechanism from past bad experiences that is likely to impact their health. For instance, curbing stress by eating can easily result in beige eating and the development of obesity, which translates to other diseases such as hypertension or diabetes type II. Social factors such as adopting a behavior such as smoking to fit in a peer group can result in health issues related to smoking such as the eventual development of lung cancer. Other social behaviors such as forming a football club with peers can promote a positive lifestyle which results in improved health.

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Current Leading Causes of Death for both Biopsychosocial Model and Biomedical Model

The biomedical model has demonstrated great success in addressing biological issues. In the early 20th century, the leading causes of deaths in this category included diarrhea, tuberculosis, influenza, and pneumonia. The disease germ theory as defined by the model fundamentally reduced these infectious diseases as the primary death cause.  Today, the main cause of death in this model in the United States include viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, Covid-19, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and influenza. However, the magnitude of biomedical model-related deaths is much lower compared to the biopsychosocial model. Lifestyle-related diseases or non-communicable chronic diseases are the leading causes of death in the United States. The leading causes of death in this category include heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide (Ahmad & Anderson, 2021).

How can Lifestyle or Healthful Behaviors Reduce Illness?

By incorporating healthy behavior in daily living, one can prevent various health conditions that include obesity, and blood pressure that raises the individual risk of developing the most serious and chronic diseases that include diabetes type II, cancer, and heart coronary disease among others. Ensuring a healthy diet and exercising reduces the chances of developing obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes type II and coronary heart diseases. Healthy living also enhances mental wellbeing.

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Physical exercise is regarded as a form of enhancing effective blood flow in different parts of the body. This helps in fighting stress and other mental health issues. Regular physical exercise is also said to assist in managing, delaying, or preventing chronic health issues. Observing a healthy lifestyle by avoiding smoking and excessive use of alcohol helps in preventing cancer and other health conditions. It also ensures sobriety and good mental health. A healthy diet nourishes the body, giving it the ability to improve the immune system and to ensure a healthy body. This generally helps in reducing diseases and ensuring healthy living (Cdc.gov, 2021).

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