Biopsychosocial Model And ProActiv DES

Using the Biopsychosocial model, ProActiv will help you look at yourself as a whole from your initial assessment and throughout your job placement and rehabilitation processes.

We recognise we’re all more than isolated workers or individuals. We interact with different aspects of our environments so, our medical conditions and experiences impact and influence us all the time.

The Biopsychosocial model was proposed by George L. Engel in 1977, for understanding health and illness and is the basis of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). It’s made up from 3 different parts that influence an individual. Bio, Psycho and Social.

Bio is short for Biological and refers to the physical or mental health of the individual and looks at the medical and genetic issues, developmental milestones and physical characteristics of the person.

Psycho is short for Psychological, and it recognises that personal/psychological factors also influence the way we think and feel as well as our mental status, behaviours, thoughts, moods, emotions, personality and any history of abuse or trauma.

The Social aspect includes the importance of our social situations, pressures and constraints and these effects on how a person functions, including religious, spirituality, cultural and economic backgrounds, relationships, both romantic or friends and peers.

This Biopsychosocial model is a holistic perspective for individuals who have complex needs in understanding their own health, illness, the health care delivery of the services they receive and the approach to their health care.

Social and psychological aspects of a persons’ life have considerable impact and are predictors of general and mental health. Cultural environments surrounding an individual also plays an equally important role in either deteriorating, improving or maintaining health.


ProActiv use the biopsychosocial model to promote mental health, physical health and improve the social consequences of the individual in gaining employment and improving their health by a range of actions.
e.g. linking individuals to mental health services and providers, taking them mental, physical and social consequences into account when placing individuals into appropriate job roles and providing support in the workplace and looking at the person as a whole rather than just as a worker.

We train our Employment Consultants here at ProActiv and all other relevant Consultants to identify Risk Factors and Barriers arising from Biopsychosocial assessment.

This enables ProActiv to implement intervention strategies to effectively move the participant into employment that is sustainable, improve function, facilitate recovery and maximise independence.

ProActiv have developed a tool box of questions and other techniques to identify the various flags/compartments of the Biopsychosocial Model.

For example;
physical and mental capacity
activity level and demands of work
personal/psychological factors also influencing functioning, personal perceptions, beliefs and behaviour (especially about work)
the importance of the social situation
pressures and constraints on social functioning
organisational and system obstacles and
personal attitudes to health and disability.

The ProActiv framework for identifying factors that become obstacles/barriers in a participant’s recovery, returning or obtaining work, allows the early identification of these barriers assisting all individuals to have an employment plan and rehabilitation program.

This minimises the long-term barriers to work, helping identify what factors are becoming a barrier and are preventing the participant from improving their activity/function, participation at home, work or in the community today.

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