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Concept: Biopsychosocial model


Little is known about the dose-response relationship between recreational arts engagement (for enjoyment, entertainment or as a hobby, rather than therapy) and mental well-being in the general population. The quantification of this relationship is of value to: (1) health professionals, clinicians and researchers interested in utilising the arts as a method for improving mental health; (2) to health promoters and policy makers in the development of population based health messages, policy and practice; and (3) to members of the general public in maintaining or improving their own well-being. As guided by theories of social epidemiology and the biopsychosocial model of health, the first aim of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between arts engagement (hours per year) and mental well-being in the general population. If an association was demonstrated, the second aim was to quantify this relationship.

Concepts: Scientific method, Health, Epidemiology, Psychiatry, Personal life, The arts, Arts, Biopsychosocial model


Despite widespread acceptance of the ‘biopsychosocial model’, the aetiology of mental health problems has provoked debate amongst researchers and practitioners for decades. The role of psychological factors in the development of mental health problems remains particularly contentious, and to date there has not been a large enough dataset to conduct the necessary multivariate analysis of whether psychological factors influence, or are influenced by, mental health. This study reports on the first empirical, multivariate, test of the relationships between the key elements of the biospychosocial model of mental ill-health.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Medicine, The Key, Interpersonal relationship, Mental disorder, Psychiatry, Biopsychosocial model


To assess the perception of diseases and the willingness to use public-tax revenue for their treatment among relevant stakeholders.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Biopsychosocial model



PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to provide the first prospective longitudinal assessment of anxiety and depression in patients with a benign intracranial meningioma (WHO° I). METHODS: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was applied prior to (t1) and directly after (t2) neurosurgery as well as 6 months after surgery (t3). The research was conducted in a single treatment centre in Germany. Numerous sociodemographic, medical, psychological and cognitive accompanying measures were assessed. The study population consisted of 52 meningioma patients. Additionally, a control group of 24 patients with malignant brain tumours (astrocytoma WHO° III) was assessed. RESULTS: In meningioma patients, anxiety was high prior to surgery but declined significantly after successful neurosurgical treatment. Low levels of depression were observed at all times. In contrast, astrocytoma patients showed constantly high levels of anxiety whilst depression increased over the course of the disease. Numerous medical, psychosocial and psychological factors were associated with psychiatric morbidity in meningioma patients. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, psychiatric morbidity of patients with benign intracranial meningiomas was comparable to that of the general population after successful neurosurgical treatment. Numerous associated factors suggest complex relationships within a biopsychosocial model. However, due to the small sample size and recruitment in a single institution, our results are of limited generalisability and need cross-validation in future studies.

Concepts: Psychology, Sample size, Surgery, Brain tumor, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Meningioma, Biopsychosocial model


OBJECTIVE: To review the scientific status of the biopsychosocial (BPS) model and to propose a way to improve it. DISCUSSION: Engel’s BPS model added patients' psychological and social health concerns to the highly successful biomedical model. He proposed that the BPS model could make medicine more scientific, but its use in education, clinical care, and, especially, research remains minimal. Many aver correctly that the present model cannot be defined in a consistent way for the individual patient, making it untestable and non-scientific. This stems from not obtaining relevant BPS data systematically, where one interviewer obtains the same information another would. Recent research by two of the authors has produced similar patient-centered interviewing methods that are repeatable and elicit just the relevant patient information needed to define the model at each visit. We propose that the field adopt these evidence-based methods as the standard for identifying the BPS model. CONCLUSION: Identifying a scientific BPS model in each patient with an agreed-upon, evidence-based patient-centered interviewing method can produce a quantum leap ahead in both research and teaching. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: A scientific BPS model can give us more confidence in being humanistic. In research, we can conduct more rigorous studies to inform better practices.

Concepts: Scientific method, Das Model, Psychiatry, Interview, Best practice, Biopsychosocial model, Biomedical model, Medical models


The literature focuses on mortality among children younger than 5 years. Comparable information on nonfatal health outcomes among these children and the fatal and nonfatal burden of diseases and injuries among older children and adolescents is scarce.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Death, Demography, Actuarial science, Biopsychosocial model


Vulvodynia is a common and debilitating chronic pain syndrome characterised by neuropathic-type pain. Localised provoked vulvodynia is the most common type, followed by generalised unprovoked vulvodynia. Vulvodynia is a diagnosis of exclusion. The cause is unknown but current research suggests an underlying predisposition to increased sensitivity to pain and peripheral and central neural sensitisation. Musculoskeletal factors also play an important role. Vulvodynia has a significant impact on the quality of life, mood, functional ability and relationships of patients and their partners. It is highly associated with anxiety and depression. Treatment needs to follow a biopsychosocial model and be tailored to the patient. A multimodal and multidisciplinary approach is often most effective. We have suggested a therapeutic ladder.

Concepts: Anxiety, Psychology, Medical terms, Patient, Pain, Chronic pain, Myofascial pain syndrome, Biopsychosocial model


Bipolar disorder is a severe and enduring psychiatric condition which in many cases starts during early adulthood and follows a relapsing and remitting course throughout life. In many patients the disease follows a progressive path with brief periods of inter-episode recovery, sub-threshold symptoms, treatment resistance and increasing functional impairment in the biopsychosocial domains. Knowledge about the neurobiology of bipolar disorder is increasing steadily and evidence from several lines of research implicates immuno-inflammatory mechanisms in the brain and periphery in the etiopathogenesis of this illness and its comorbidities. The main findings are an increase in the levels of proinflammatory cytokines during acute episodes with a decrease in neurotrophic support. Related to these factors are glial cell dysfunction, neuro-endocrine abnormalities and neurotransmitter aberrations which together cause plastic changes in the mood regulating areas of the brain and neuroprogression of the bipolar diathesis. Research in the above mentioned areas is providing an opportunity to discover novel biomarkers for the disease and the field is reaching a point where major breakthroughs can be expected in the not too distant future. It is hoped that with new discoveries fresh avenues will be found to better treat an otherwise recalcitrant disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Neuron, Mental disorder, Bipolar disorder, Psychiatry, Prefrontal cortex, Mood, Biopsychosocial model


Genetic studies of neuropsychiatric disease strongly suggest an overlap in liability. There are growing efforts to characterize these diseases dimensionally rather than categorically, but the extent to which such dimensional models correspond to biology is unknown.

Concepts: Medicine, Genetics, Epidemiology, Genetic disorder, Genome-wide association study, Biopsychosocial model