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The biopsychosocial model takes a general systems approach to understanding disease, coping, and treatment. The model, introduced by the psychiatrist George Engel in the late 1970s, expanded the dominant paradigm of the medical field beyond an exclusive focus on biological components to include the effects of psychological and social influences on a patient’s experience. The model thus broadens the scope for health providers to acknowledge the interplay of dynamics that may affect the expression of disease, coping methods, adherence to treatment, and recovery. These factors can include social support systems, cultural factors, patient cognitions, lifestyle, social class, and many other diverse influences. Although the biopsychosocial model was developed in a medical context, its holistic approach to patients has also provided a useful model for ...

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