A Critical Analysis of Suzanne Bennett Johnson’s Article

Subject: Health Care
Type: Critical Analysis Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 892
Topics: Disease, Health, Medicine

In the article, “Increasing Psychology`s Role in Health Research and Health Care,” Johnson presents adequate thoughts about the biomedical model in health care. According to Johnson (2013), the biomedical model has been the dominant force in western medicine. It has been hugely successful in development of antibiotics to fight infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, tetanus, and diarrhea just to name a few. The model affirms that all diseases are as a product of biological defect and thus, enhancing the need for individuals to reject unhealthy lifestyle choices such as unhealthy diets, poor sanitation, unclean water, lack of exercise, and smoking. Medical practitioners have trained people to embrace healthy lifestyles that enhances quality life. Despite the model having great legacy in the medical field, criticisms have emerged that the model fails to recognize the psychological effects of many illnesses such as depression, stress, anxiety, and panic disorders. The model emphasizes on behavioral factors which trigger diseases but fail to recognize that some diseases are linked to social, environmental, and psychological changes.   

In essence, the article defines the biomedical model as the conceptual model of illness, which only discusses the biological factors to individuals ‘medical disorders and illnesses but excludes social and psychological factors (Johnson, 2013). In this case, the model is characterized by limited focus on disease and whatever is not explained from the underlying biological cause is excluded. This article points out that the model has been successful in the development of antibiotics and thus enhancing a significant decline in infectious disease and boosting life expectancy. In the 19th century, the leading causes of most death were influenza, diarrheal, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. However, as time progresses the biomedical model has helped in developing antibiotics that fight infectious diseases and thus, increasing life expectancy. 

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Specific success of the biomedical model is that it shows clear guidance on the best possible treatment and recovery. The approach is supported by scientific research, and thus proved beyond doubt into enhancing quality care to patients. It is key to note that, the model emphasizes more on biological factors such as lifestyle choice and this creates insights to people on how to maintain a healthy life. Each individual is given a duty to protect himself or herself against any illness and eventually this increases personal responsibility. For instance, through this model, individuals understand that drinking too much alcohol and smoking can cause health issues and thus, it is perfect in challenging individuals to quit such unhealthy habits. The analysis of Suzanne Bennett is compelling since it points out that certain behaviors such as smoking are linked to most diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, and chronic pulmonary diseases, which as a consequence are responsible for most deaths in the United States. The author continues to affirm that obesity is the second leading cause of most deaths in the country and thus, the model is perfect in creating insights on the role of behavioral factors in the national health. Despite its success in increasing personal responsibility, biomedical model limitations have increasingly become apparent. 

The model fails to recognize the mental health concerns that trigger most diseases and thus, cannot be utilized effectively in the sector of mental health. Although infectious disease was the leading cause of most deaths in the 19th century, there has been a shift in today`s society where most Americans die of chronic diseases such cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, heart diseases, and stroke among others. The biomedical model has failed to effectively address these new challenges, and thus increasing the cost of healthcare. Adequate knowledge is needed to understand environmental and social factors that causes most chronic diseases. It is crucial to understand that the social model of health looks at broader factors that cause illnesses such as poverty, poor housing, pollution, poor life choice, and job-related stress. All these factors are effective since they can shape both physical and mental health. Environmental and social factors show patterns that people from lower classes tend to make poor life choices such as not exercising adequately, eating unhealthily, smoking, and abusing drugs. The poor are unable to afford medical access and thus, reducing their life expectancy. Most patients` environmental, social, and genetic factors are not adequately addressed and thus, not establishing an effective measure to deter most illnesses in today`s society that are not triggered by behavioral factors. 

Most patients with mental health issues go untreated or unrecognized when the model is put into place. The model failure to address the causes of mental health issues such as stress and genetic factors is one of its key limitations. The article is great in content as it provides the proper implications of the bio-psychosocial model to U.S. health care. All patient’s needs should be addressed by the healthcare team, which include all dimensions of health ranging from physical, social, psychological, and emotional being. Adequate input is needed to include appropriate treatments to all diseases, which are not only caused by biological factors. To improve the model and offer solutions to its limitation, APA can work with other organizations to promote the interdisciplinary that embraces psychology thus, making the patient-centered care a reality.

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  1. Johnson, S. B. (2013). Increasing psychology`s role in health research and health care. American Psychological Association, 68(5), 311–321.
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