An Introduction to Health Psychology.












The biomedical model.

Having considered some of these questions, you may have come up with the following types of responses:

  • What causes illness? According to the biomedical model of health, illness is caused by external factors that invade the body, or by some internal change that are involuntary.
  • Who is responsible for illness? Individuals are not to blame for their conditions since the causes are mainly outside their control- they are the victims of the internal changes, or external factors.
  • How should illness be treated? The biomedical model regards treatment in terms of changing the body by some form of medical intervention.
  • Who is responsible for treatment? The responsibility rests squarely with the medical profession.
  • What is the relationship between health and illness? Within the biomedical model, you are either healthy or ill. There is a clear distinction between the two.
  • What is the relationship between mind and body? They act separately- as in "Cartesian dualism".
  • What is the role of psychology in health and illness? In traditional biomedicine there is very little role for psychology. Although, illness may cause some mood changes- there is no relationship between psychological factors and the onset of ill- health.


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