The bio-psycho-social-spiritual health model

The traditional medical healthcare model has provided significant contributions to overcoming many biological diseases, but due to a focus only on physical health interventions (drugs, injections, implants, surgeries and genetic manipulation) it also has considerable limits in treating chronic health concerns of a growing population of people.

Because of the limits to biomedicine, many clinical researchers and professionals recognize a shift in approaching health beyond the physical body; the movement is towards seeing oneself in an integrated array of bio-psycho-social-spiritual life conditions within both mind and body, as well as humans being in relation with surroundings.

Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development (NCCC): body/mind/spirit health research

Decades of research indicate evidence for significantly improved success in long-term therapeutic outcomes by patients provided with approaches that look at a person as a whole.

In recent years, the linking of spiritual and clinical interventions has become widely popular, coupled with the heightened interest in ‘holistic’ health (Sloan et al., 1999). To date, nearly all documented definitions of holistic health include spirituality. For Rosch and Kearney (1985), the most fundamental principle of a wholeness-based orientation is the importance of wellness, which “encompasses not merely the absence of clinical disease but also the existence of a positive state of well-being that embraces the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health” (p. 1406).

Similarly, Witmer and Sweeny (1992) proposed a holistic model of health that incorporates concepts from psychology, anthropology, sociology, religion, and education to describe the “total person” approach for improving QoL in proactive and positive ways. In this approach, lifestyles are seen as potentially creating high levels of wellness with components that relate to wholeness in mind, body, spirit, and community.

Evidence based applications of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual health model are an integral basis of Fitting pieces health and quality of life assessments, as well as self-care and treatment  programs.

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