Document Type


Source Publication Title

American Psychologist

First Page


Last Page




We are entering an exciting period in mental and physical health research, resulting from a paradigm shift away from an outdated biomedical reductionism approach, to a more comprehensive biopsychosocial model, which emphasizes the unique interactions among biological, psychological and social factors required to better understand health and illness. This biopsychosocial perspective is important in evaluating the comorbidity of mental and physical health problems. Psychiatric and medical pathologies interface prominently in pain disorders. Important topics in the biopsychosocial approach to comorbid chronic mental and physical health disorders, focusing primarily on pain, are presented. Though this biopsychosocial model has produced dramatic advances in health psychology over the past two decades, important challenges to moving the field forward still remain.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Publication Date





The writing of this article was supported in part by Grants No. 5R01 MH046452, 2K02 MH1107 and 5R01 DE010713 (from the National Institutes of Health) and Grant No. DAMD17-03-1-0055 (from the Department of Defense). The author would like to thank Dennis Turk for his careful reading of this manuscript To be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 29, 2004—Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research Award for 2004.

Author's final draft after peer review, also known as a post print.

This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA Journal. It is not the copy of record.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 3000

Included in

Psychology Commons