The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The biopsychosocial model of general practice: rhetoric or reality

Dowrick, C., May, C., Richardson, M. and Bundred, P. (1996) The biopsychosocial model of general practice: rhetoric or reality British Journal of General Practice, 46, (403), pp. 105-107.

Record type: Article


Background: For more than 20 years, general practitioners have been encouraged to adopt a 'biopsychosocial' model of health care, that is, encompassing physical, psychological and social aspects.

Aim: A study was undertaken to explore the extent to which general practitioners' views about the acceptable boundaries of their work are consistent with a biopsychosocial model.

Method: A semi-structured postal questionnaire was sent to all 494 members of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Mersey Region who were general practitioner principals. The general practitioners were asked to list up to three topics presented by patients that they considered to be appropriate, and up to three topics that they considered to be inappropriate, to a general practitioner's knowledge and skills. The general practitioners were asked to rate, on a five-point scale of appropriateness, each of a list of 12 topics about which patients might have problems and present. Responses were analysed by sex and age of respondents.

Results: The response rate was 42%. Acute physical problems were most often listed appropriate by respondents, followed by chronic physical and psychological problems. The topics most often considered inappropriate were bureaucracy and social issues. Among the list of 12 specified topics, respondents considered terminal care and hypertension to be more appropriate than housing issues, spiritual worries, welfare rights or political issues. The sex of respondents did not relate to differences in results. Respondents aged 35 years and over generally considered topics presented by their patients to be more appropriate than did their younger colleagues.

Conclusion: The general practitioner respondents in this study appeared to hold the view that general practitioners should work to a bio(psycho) rather than a biopsychosocial model of health care.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: February 1996


Local EPrints ID: 163715
ISSN: 0960-1643
PURE UUID: 4dff42d0-f073-4204-bf3a-f50cc153b347
ORCID for C. May: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Sep 2010 12:45
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:30

Export record


Author: C. Dowrick
Author: C. May ORCID iD
Author: M. Richardson
Author: P. Bundred

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.