Biopsychosocial it is a concept that is not part of the dictionary that elaborates the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ). However, we can decompose the term into its constituent units to understand precisely what it refers to.
The prefix "Bio" refers to the lifetime ; "Psycho" is linked to the psychology (the activity of the mind or the questions of the soul); "Social" Finally, it is that linked to the society (The community of individuals who share a culture and interact with each other). The notion of biopsychosocial, therefore, integrates biological, psychological and social issues .
It is often said that the human being It is biopsychosocial. Its potential is determined by its biological (physical) characteristics, but in turn its actions are influenced by psychological aspects (such as desires, motivations and inhibitions) and by the social environment (the pressure exerted by other people, legal conditions, etc.). ). These three aspects (bio, psycho and social) cannot be split, but constitute a whole. The conduct of man, in fact, constitutes a biopsychosocial unit .
Talk about biopsychosocial model with reference to the approach that the Health of people from the integration of biological, psychological and social factors. This model understands that man's well-being depends on the three dimensions: it is not enough for the individual to be physically healthy.
The medicine , the psychology and the sociology they are conjugated in the biopsychosocial model, which considers the connection between the body , the mind and the context for the treatment of diseases, disorders and disabilities.
This model opposes traditional reductionist, according to which only the biological level matters to explain an health disorder, taking into account phenomena possible to appreciate through the senses and to quantify, such as the variation of a value or an abnormal change in the dimensions of a tissue, all deviations from the normal function of the organism.
The term biopsychosocial It was coined by the American psychiatrist George Libman Engel in 1977, when he was looking for a new medical model to deal with the biomedical, until then dominant in the society industrialized Despite the natural rejection that we humans have to change, it is important to note that Engel's proposal had a good acceptance by certain groups who wanted to broaden the horizons of medicine with the incorporation of compassion and empathy.
First, the psychosocial model sought to leave behind the closed "cause-effect" scheme, according to which the emotional level and the social context did not influence the healing process or the treatment of a disease or disability. On the other hand, it was also a step towards a reality in which doctors would begin to take into account the patient's opinion before making their decisions; In other words, the patient went from being "object" to "subject."
Engel was convinced that the biological aspects of the human being depended on a very wide range of aspects, which included biological, social and psychological aspects. Alright its model It is very easy to understand today, at that time the concept of ecology not even chaos theory, among other notions that we consider basic to universal knowledge.
The criticism of the American psychiatrist to the current Biomedical was not based on the idea that it had not brought important advances to medicine, but rather arose when he understood that, for example, all biochemical alterations do not lead to the appearance of a disease and that the power of the placebo effect in the context of A healing process is truly considerable.