Disadvantages of a biopsychosocial approach

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Biopsychosocial model

The biopsychosocial model (abbreviated "BPS") is a general model or approach positing that biological, psychological (which entails thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), and social (socio-economical, socio-environmental, and cultural) factors, all play a significant role in human functioning in the context of disease or illness. Indeed, health is best understood in terms of a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors rather than purely in biological terms.[1] Furthermore, critics of this model have further proposed that spiritual constructs also effect an individuals disease or illness. This is in contrast to the traditional, reductionist biomedical model of medicine that suggests every disease
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Drawing on the systems theory of Weiss and von Bertalanffy, Engel describes the commonsense observation that nature is a "hierarchically arranged continuum with its more complex, larger units superordinate on the less complex smaller units." He represents them schematically either as a vertical stack or as a nest of squares, with the simplest at the centre and the most complex on the outside. He subdivided the vertical stack into two stacks. The first starts with sub-atomic particles and ends with the individual person. The second starts with the person and finishes with the biosphere. The first is an organismic hierarchy, the second a social hierarchy. He then delineates some principles: 1. Each level in the system is relatively autonomous. Thus a cell can be studies just as a cell. 2. Each level depends on the level below. Thus a cell is composed of nuclei, mitochondria and all sorts of other organelles. 3. Each level is a component of a higher system. Thus cells organise together to become tissues, and organs etc. Thus, "in the continuity of natural systems every unit is at the very same time both a whole and a part." To these principles Engel developed we can add further that higher level properties emerge from lower level systems and cannot be predicted from studying the lower level, We can also add the principle of top-down causation
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