Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (5): 321-327.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.06.001

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Health care in light of different theories of health—A proposed framework for integrating a social humanistic perspective into health care

Lena Grönblom Lundströma, Ulri kaasaa, Yan Zhangb,c,Tobias Sundbergc,d()   

  1. a. Physiotherapy Unit, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
    b. Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76109, USA c. Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia d. Musculoskeletal and Sports Injury Epidemiology Center (MUSIC), Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 111 77 Stockholm, Sweden

  • Accepted:2018-09-09 Online:2019-09-06 Published:2019-09-10

The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the biomedical, the biopsychosocial, and the social humanistic theories of health and to propose a framework for integrating the latter into health care. In summary, the definitions of health, illness and disease are essential to the practice of health care and play fundamental roles in how patients’ experiences of being ill are valued and assessed within health care systems. Principally, the biomedical perspective proceeds from pathoanatomical deficiencies defining disease and malfunction; the addition of psychosocial components forms a biopsychosocial perspective. In addition, the social humanistic perspective extends from a person’s will, their ability to act, and the possibility to fulfill wanted actions. Thus, health care that does not address the social humanistic perspective may lack the power to describe how these entities are related to the patient on a personal level; thus, the will of the patient is not always fully addressed. Importantly, by targeting the will of the patient and the patient’s ability to act, the proposed framework of integrating a social humanistic perspective into health care may further emphasize and strengthen the interrelatedness of medical perspectives. A framework for integrating a social humanistic perspective into health care is proposed and its potential impact on health care is discussed.

Key words: Theoretical models, Biomedical, Biopsychosocial, Social humanistic, Review

[1] Ming-min Xu, Pei Guo, Qing-yu Ma, Xuan Zhou, Yu-long Wei, Lu Wang, Yue Chen, Yu Guo. Can acupuncture enhance therapeutic effectiveness of antidepressants and reduce adverse drug reactions in patients with depression? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(4): 305-320.
[2] Ting-ting Lu, Cun-cun Lu, Mei-xuan Li, Li-xin Ke, Hui Cai, Ke-hu Yang. Reporting and methodological quality of meta-analyses of acupuncture for patients with migraine: A methodological investigation with evidence map. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(3): 213-220.
[3] Witoo Dilokthornsakul, Ramanya Kosiyaporn, Rattanamanee Wuttipongwaragon, Piyameth Dilokthornsakul. Potential effects of propolis and honey in COVID-19 prevention and treatment: A systematic review of in silico and clinical studies. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(2): 114-125.
[4] Peter Bablis, Henry Pollard, Anthony L. Rosner. Stress reduction via neuro-emotional technique to achieve the simultaneous resolution of chronic low back pain with multiple inflammatory and biobehavioural indicators: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(2): 135-144.
[5] Jun-peng Yao, Li-ping Chen, Xian-jun Xiao, Ting-hui Hou, Si-yuan Zhou, Ming-min Xu, Kai Wang, Yu-jun Hou, Lin Zhang, Ying Li. Effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for treating functional constipation: An overview of systematic reviews. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(1): 13-25.
[6] Yi Yuan, Rui-Ting Wang, Jun Xia, Hui-Juan Cao. Interventions for preventing influenza: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews and a Bayesian network meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(6): 503-514.
[7] Riska Siregar, Aris Setyawan, Syahruramdhani Syahruramdhani. A model to standardize safety and quality of care for cupping therapy. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(4): 327-332.
[8] Meng-zhu Zhao, Chen Zhao, Shuang-shuang Tu, Xu-xu Wei, Hong-cai Shang. Evaluating the methodology of studies conducted during the global COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(4): 317-326.
[9] Liang Dai, Ka Kei Chan, Jian-chun Mao, Yu Tian, Jun-hua Gu, Jun Zhou, Linda L.D. Zhong. Modified Zhibai Dihuang pill, a traditional Chinese medicine formula, on steroid withdrawal in systemic lupus erythematosus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(6): 478-491.
[10] Arthur Yin Fan, Sherman Gu, Sarah Faggert Alemi, Research Group for Evidence-based Chinese Medicine. Chinese herbal medicine for COVID-19: Current evidence with systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(5): 385-394.
[11] Xian-jun Xiao, Lei-xiao Zhang, Yun-zhou Shi, Jun-peng Yao, Wei Cao, Ying Liu, Zi-hao Zou, Si-yuan Zhou, Ming-ling Chen, Chun-xiao Li, Qian-hua Zheng, Ying Li. Cupping therapy for patients with chronic urticaria: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(4): 303-312.
[12] Dong-dong Yu, Liang-zhen You, Wan-qiu Huang, Hui Cao, Fan-jing Wang, Xiu-qin Tang, Zhao-hui Fang, Guo-ming Shen, Yu-xiang Guan. Effects of traditional Chinese exercises on blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with prediabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(4): 292-302.
[13] Dona Nirmani Ann Wijewickrama Samarakoon, Deepthi Inoka Uluwaduge, Malith Aravinda Siriwardhene. Mechanisms of action of Sri Lankan herbal medicines used in the treatment of diabetes: A review. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(1): 13-20.
[14] Jia Xu, Fu-qing Zhang, Jian Pei, Jun Ji . Acupuncture for migraine without aura: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(5): 312-321.
[15] Wen-jie Xu, Ling-tai Wang, Zhi-ping Zhao, Li-ming Zhu, Liang-hua Zu, Qi Zhang, Dan-bo Dou. Prospects of a comprehensive evaluation system for traditional Chinese medicine services. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2017, 15(6): 426-432.
Full text



[1] Wei-xiong Liang. Problems-solving strategies in clinical treatment guideline for traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 1-4
[2] Zhao-guo Li. Discussion on English translation of commonly used sentences in traditional Chinese medicine: part one. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 107-110
[3] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[4] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[5] . Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication (Chinese version, part two). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1001-1005
[6] Daniel Weber, Janelle M Wheat, Geoffrey M Currie. Inflammation and cancer: Tumor initiation, progression and metastasis,and Chinese botanical medicines. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1006-1013
[7] Hong Liu , Guo-liang Zhang, Li Shen , Zhen Zeng, Bao-luo Zhou, Cheng-hai Liu, Guang Nie . Application and evaluation of a pseudotyped virus assay for screening herbs for anti-H5Nl avian influenza virus. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1036-1040
[8] Zhao-guo Li . A discussion of English translation of 1995 and 1997 Chinese National Standards of Traditional Chinese Medical Terminologies for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1090-1096
[9] Rui Jin, Bing Zhang. A complexity analysis of Chinese herbal property theory: the multiple formations of herbal property (Part 1). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1198-1205
[10] Hui-min Liu, Xian-bo Wang, Yu-juan Chang, Li-li Gu. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of integrative medicine therapy for treatment of chronic severe hepatitis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1211-1228