A model refers to a tool that is used in needs assessment, problem identification, goals and objectives development, and then laying down a strategy that will be used to achieve those requirements. It, as well, provides the means for the evaluation of the outcomes. A model is a hypothesized description of a program plan (Hernandez 2011). This paper will discuss the notion of biomedical model in relation to health.
From the health context, health model refers to a stepwise procedure that is used to organize a health program giving a framework for the initial planning, implementation, as well as the evaluation. Health models are tailored according to their needs; they are of several types, which include: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community models. Interpersonal models relate to individual needs and personal characteristics, and the community models cover communities and public policy issues in relation to health. Researchers feel that there is a need for another additional category – a cultural model, which embeds to cultural issues in an attempt to change those that have negative impact on people’s health. Models of health are not limited to only the above categories. A hybrid or a more incorporating model can be adopted depending on the specific needs of the user. An example is the conceptual model formulated by John Hjelm. He included five dimensions in his model, among them are the following: social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical dimensions (Hjelm 2010).
Biomedical model is an example of a customized health model. It is based on real scientific knowledge and relies on the development in technology and sciences, especially the medical science. Medicine practice within this model assumes a biological cause of a disease, such as bacteria and biological malfunctioning of the body organs, and the treatment often includes the use of chemicals and surgery procedures. The concept emanated from the birth of microbiology, which paved the way for the study of germs theory of diseases. This method has proved to be a formidable practice for controlling various diseases. There are several advantages accrued to this model, including an in-depth understanding of the human body. Besides, it made surgery safe and, most important, helped in the control of many diseases. This model has seen major breakthroughs in the previously fatal diseases, such as pneumonia and TB among many others. This has not gone without criticisms; some critics argue that this model reduces the body to just a mere machine and a sick organ is like a machine part which is treated separately. It is seen as just curative and does not focus on the prevention as well as gives no attention to social health factors (Hjelm 2010).
The emphasis in biomedical model, however, underestimates the impacts of social factors on health. Human health is closely linked to the social lifestyle of an individual. There are several social factors that it influences. These include the following: social and physical environment determines the risk susceptibility, stress management and responses affect the person’s wellbeing. Another factor is the income level and distribution, which will, in turn, determine the access to amenities like housing, immunization, diet, and dental care. Rest and various personal habits like, for instance, smoking affect their health directly (Phase).
From the above description, it can be concluded that in spite of the fact that biomedical model has been effective in treating many diseases and has led to major breakthroughs in the traditionally fatal diseases, a hybrid model incorporating social factors could be more effective. This is so because the initial cause of a disease is sometimes connected to certain social factors, thus, addressing those issues could prevent the diseases in the first place. In this context, curing a disease without addressing the initial cause leaves the patient still vulnerable to the infection and results in him/her being referred back to the hospital after a certain period of times.