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Biopsychosocial model

The biopsychosocial model of disability is an approach that considers the interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors in the experience of disability. This model recognizes that disabilities are not solely caused by physical impairments, but are also influenced by a range of factors including social, environmental, and psychological factors.

The biological component of the model refers to the physical aspects of disability, such as genetic factors, medical conditions, and physiological impairments. The psychological component includes the individual's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, as well as their coping mechanisms and attitudes towards their disability. The social component involves the impact of society, culture, and environment on the individual, including access to resources, social stigma, and discrimination.

The biopsychosocial model emphasizes that disability is not just a medical issue, but is also shaped by social and psychological factors. For example, a person with a physical impairment may experience greater disability if they live in a society that is not accommodating to their needs or if they face discrimination in employment or social settings. A person's mental health can also impact their experience of disability, as anxiety or depression may aggravate physical symptoms or make it harder to cope with the challenges of disability.

The biopsychosocial model of disability is widely recognized as a more holistic approach to understanding disability than the traditional medical model, which focuses solely on the physical aspects of disability. By considering the interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors, this model can help to identify a range of interventions and supports that can improve the quality of life and well-being of individuals with disabilities.

In 2002, the World Health Organization published the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. This model is the basis for it.

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