An evidence-based patient-centered method makes the biopsychosocial model scientific

Robert C. Smith, Auguste H. Fortin, Francesca Dwamena, Richard M. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To review the scientific status of the biopsychosocial (BPS) model and to propose a way to improve it.Discussion: Engel's BPS model added patients' psychological and social health concerns to the highly successful biomedical model. He proposed that the BPS model could make medicine more scientific, but its use in education, clinical care, and, especially, research remains minimal. Many aver correctly that the present model cannot be defined in a consistent way for the individual patient, making it untestable and non-scientific. This stems from not obtaining relevant BPS data systematically, where one interviewer obtains the same information another would. Recent research by two of the authors has produced similar patient-centered interviewing methods that are repeatable and elicit just the relevant patient information needed to define the model at each visit. We propose that the field adopt these evidencebased methods as the standard for identifying the BPS model.Conclusion: Identifying a scientific BPS model in each patient with an agreed-upon, evidence-based patient-centered interviewing method can produce a quantum leap ahead in both research and teaching. Practice implications: A scientific BPS model can give us more confidence in being humanistic. In research, we can conduct more rigorous studies to inform better practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume91
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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