What Determines Health

According to the social biopsychosocial model: What determines health:

The biopsychosocial model of health and disorder is a substructure developed by George L. Engel that states that interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors determine the cause, manifestation, and outcome of health and illness. Historically, popular theories such as the nature versus nurture debate have assumed that any of these factors is sufficient to change the direction of evolution. The biopsychosocial model argues that no single factor is adequate; it is the interplay between people’s genetic makeup (biology), mental health and behavior (psychology), and social and cultural context to determine the course of health-related outcomes. According To The Biopsychosocial Model What Determines Health

Biological impact on health:

Biological influences on health contain an individual’s genetic makeup and chronicle of physical trauma or infection. Many disorders have an inherited genetic vulnerability. The highest risk factor for the increase of schizophrenia is, for example, a first-degree relative with the disease (the risk is 6.5%); More than 40% of identical twins with schizophrenia are also affected. If one parent is disturbed, the risk is about 13%; if both are affected, the risk is almost 50%.

It is clear that genetics play a crucial role in the development of schizophrenia, but it is equally clear that other factors must be at play. Some nonbiological (environmental) factors influence the expression of the disorder in individuals with preexisting genetic risk.

Physiological impacts on health:

The psychological component of the biopsychosocial model seeks to find a psychological basis for a particular symptom or set of symptoms (like impulsivity, irritability, overwhelming sadness, etc.). Individuals with a genetic vulnerability may be more likely to exhibit negative thinking that puts them at risk for depression; alternatively, psychological factors may exacerbate a biological predisposition by placing a genetically vulnerable individual at risk for more risky behaviors. For example, depression itself may not cause liver problems, but a depressed person is more likely to abuse alcohol and therefore develop liver damage. Increased risk-taking leads to an increased likelihood of disease.

Social impacts on health:

Social factors contain socioeconomic status, amazing culture, best technology, and religion. For example, losing a job or ending a romantic relationship can put a person at risk of stress and illness. Such life events can predispose an individual to develop depression, which can later participate, to physical health problems. The influence of social factors is widely recognized in mental disorders such as anorexia nervosa (a disease characterized by excessive and purposeful weight loss despite evidence of low body weight). The fashion industry and media promote an unhealthy standard of beauty that emphasizes thinness over health. It creates societal pressure to achieve this “ideal” body image in spite of the definite health risks. Click Here

Cultural factors:

Cultural factors are also contain in the social domain. For example, differences in the circumstances, expectations, and belief systems of different cultural groups contribute to varying degrees of prevalence and symptom expression of disorders. For example, anorexia is less common in non-Western cultures because they place less emphasis on thinness in women.

Culture can vary over a small geographic scale, such as from lower-income parts to higher-income areas, and the rates of illness and disease vary within these communities accordingly. Culture can even change biology, as epigenetics research is beginning to show. Specifically, epigenetics research suggests that the environment can change an individual’s genetic makeup. For example, research shows that individuals exposed to overcrowding and poverty are more at risk of developing depression with actual genetic mutations that only form within a single generation.

Application of social biopsychosocial model:

The biopsychosocial model states that the functioning of the body, mind, and environment influence each other. According to this model, none of these factors in isolation is sufficient to definitively forefront to health or disease. However, it is the dense interrelationship of all three components; that leads to a given outcome.

Health promotion must address all three factors, as a growing body of empirical literature suggests that it is a combination of health status, health perceptions, and sociocultural barriers to accessing health care that influence the likelihood that a patient will engage in health-promoting behaviors such as medication, proper diet or nutrition, and physical activity.


The biopsychosocial model is an honest patient-centered: thorough method of medicine that has held value in the medical community since its inception. Healing and recovery during – and after – the COVID-19 pandemic is the optimal phase to demonstrate the benefits of this approach to patients.

March 16, 2023

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