Similarities Between the Biomedical and Social Models of Health

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The social and biomedical models of health provide different perspectives on health and disease. Yet, even though they are many different health models, they both play a crucial part in determining what should be the focus of public health attention. 

We can better comprehend why certain people care better for their well-being than others by considering the various health models.

The Biomedical Model of Health

The biomedical model refers to health as the absence of sickness, and it shapes the most potent and influential discourse on health. The medical model is the most prevalent model of medical knowledge in western society. 

The biomedical model places a strong emphasis on objective results, which are seen as the cause of the disturbance or disease, and additional medical studies. Finally, the patient is treated using medical interventions to restore their health.

The biomedical model establishes a clear distinction between the body and mind because it holds that when tissue or cell damage occurs in the body, the mind will also suffer. Therefore, if you address the afflicted cells or tissue, your body’s health and well-being will return, and your mind. It rejects the notion that a person’s mental state affects their physical well-being.

The medical model is the one that has had the most influence on how mentally disturbed persons are treated. However, most psychologists would agree that it, at best, only offers a partial explanation and may even be completely wrong.

The Social Model of Health

The social model of health takes a wider variety of variables, such as the environment, economy, society, and culture, into account when determining health and welfare. 

As per the social model of health, a person’s social circumstances can affect how they perceive their health status and manage their needs. Therefore, this model emphasizes the need for societal transformations, giving individuals control over their own health and way of life to improve population health. 

It is important to note that the social model reconfirms the medical and psychological aspects of sickness manifesting in people, which validates individual demands or therapy. Thus, it emphasizes how health and illness occur in social contexts, requiring effective preventative measures beyond traditional medical care.

The social model of health acknowledges the advantages of better living conditions, lifestyle choices, food, and access to care as a component of achieving good health. 

Particularly, social well-being calls attention to reducing social disparities and promoting a healthy society while pressuring businesses and the government to adapt to various service users and prevent them from being negatively impacted by their sickness.


Despite being two different health models, they still have many similarities. Some of them are given below.

Treatment of People

The social and biomedical models of health emphasize and attempt to treat individuals in various ways. For example, the social model utilizes emotional and social components of how diseases, illnesses, and injuries were caused, whereas the medical model uses science and medicine to treat. 

However, the key similarity between the two is that they are used to treat individuals. The social and biomedical health models aim to prolong the lives of patients and clients.

The doctor can treat people using either the biomedical model or the social model of health, or both. For example, the social model of health can be used by a doctor to convince a patient to alter their habits and potentially prevent various non-communicable diseases. Similarly, they can also use the medical approach to treat physical and immediate ailments.

Root Causes of a Disease

The fact that both the biomedical and social models of health concentrate on the root causes of a disease or illness are another similarity between them. 

As per the biomedical model, before treating an illness, the medical problem must be diagnosed, and the treatment must be provided by qualified medical experts. In addition, it must occur in a setting with access to medical technology.

While the social model of health emphasizes treating illnesses by looking at their societal causes and antecedents. Although different, both models look for the root causes of a disease or illness.

Both free Patients From Diseases

Another similarity between the social and biomedical models of health is their shared goal of freeing people from medically recognized diseases. The biomedical model frees patients by treating patients with medical and scientific methods

The social model, on the other hand, liberates patients by educating them about leading healthier lifestyles and introducing preventive measures into their lives.

Additionally, both models use medical expertise to treat patients who are ill. This is rooted in science because, just as the medical model employs cutting-edge techniques and medications, the social model also incorporates modern therapies like reflexology to treat patients.

Nomothetic and Reductionist

Both the Biomedical and Social models, which you can also label as nomothetic to some extent because they, dismiss their competing claims. The nomothetic method entails creating universally applicable rules or generalizations. Additionally, both models have broad beliefs or laws about persons that apply to a larger segment of the same group.

The social and biomedical models adopt a reductionist mindset that prevents them from considering alternative viewpoints and how those might impact disability. The medical approach, which attributes behavior to neurotransmitters and other factors, illustrates this well. 

Although the social model does reduce behaviors to social parameters, it is one-sided, which is different from reductionist because it still views behavior even after it is reduced to social terms.


How does the biomedical model link to health and social care?

The biomedical model links to health and social care because its focus is ultimately the good health of individuals. It ensures this through biological treatment and processes. 

What is the difference between biomedical and social model of health?

Environmental, social, and environmental factors are given more attention in the social model of health. The medical model, however, emphasizes the patient as a whole and the biological factors that affect their health.

What is Biomedical social and ecological models of health and well-being?

  • Biomedical Model: The biomedical model refers to health as the absence of sickness and shapes the most potent and influential discourse on health.
  • Social Model: The social model of health takes a wider variety of variables, such as the environment, society, and culture, into account when determining health and welfare. 
  • Ecological Model: The ecological model of health strongly emphasizes the social, psychological, and policy settings of behavior.

What is the difference between medical and social model?

The social model of health is founded on the concept that we need to address people’s basic needs for health improvements to be present. The medical model deals with a specific ailment with a specific remedy.

Author: Syed Hasan

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