The biopsychosocial model (BPS) is an approach to healthcare that assumes that a person’s biology (health condition), sociology (living conditions) and psychology (state of mind) contributes to their overall well-being.
While the BPS model has garnered some critics, it is still widely embraced by health service providers (doctors, psychologists, social workers, etc.). It is widely embraced because it provides a very holistic approach to healthcare. And, it is applicable to many health conditions and situations. Also, health service providers, who use this model, are able to develop very comprehensive treatment plans. These treatment options give careful consideration to their client’s unique health conditions, living conditions and state of mind. As such, it is a very empathetic approach to care, which seeks to address the clients overall healthcare needs. This is in stark contrast to the traditional bio-medical healthcare model, which only addresses the client’s physical needs.
The BPS model is also very user friendly, and can be used by anyone. It can be adopted by the non-professional, as a self-help tool (or self-care action plan) to support their overall healthcare. The diagram in Figure A provides an example of how the BPS model might be used – or adopted – by someone diagnosed with depression.