In the 2nd in this series of occasional posts looking back on the last six years of CPN blogposts we return to the thorny issue of the biopsychosocial model. Thorny because the BPS remains a touchstone for physiotherapists who claim to offer a more holistic therapy. All of these posts take a different view. Hopefully you’ll still find returning to these arguments challenging and inspiring.
- The first post comes from October 2016 and asked whether the biopsychosocial model was all it was cracked up to be. The post focused on the claims of the BPS model to be holistic and pondered ‘ how the model has saturated people’s thinking at the exclusion of other ways of being ‘holistic’.
- This post generated a lot of comment and criticism, so I posted a follow-up post in the following week. As much as anything, this post set out an argument against all models, but also the lack of social context in the BPS model.
- The link between the emergence of the BPS and pain science was discussed in a post from May 2015 titled Pain and suffering? Again the critique is of the emphasis given to the biological and psychobiological dimensions of pain; a phenomenon that has been advanced by the BPS model, but also reveals its inherent bias towards the biomedical and the psychological.
- This point was argued again in late November 2017 in a post that looked at the lack of sociological thinking in contemporary physiotherapy discussions. In Physiotherapy’s biopsycho (but not so much) social approach to future healthcare there were some suggestions for how to be more social if we are aiming to be more holistic.
- And finally, perhaps one place where we are seeing research being conducted with a heavy emphasis on the social is in disability rehabilitation. In a post from March 2016 titled WCPT advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities in physiotherapy profession, we looked at the statement that ‘Disability as ‘a problem to be fixed’ remains a dominant idea in rehabilitation despite increased emphasis on ‘biopsychosocial’ models of care’.