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The good treatment: a biopsychosocioethical proposition

Jens Gaab, Marco Annoni, Charlotte Blease, Heike Gerger, Cosima Locher


While there is undisputedly a great need to establish, maintain, evaluate, provide and disseminate good treatments, the consensus as to what constitutes a good treatment is far less established. Here, we deconstruct the phrase into its components, seeking to describe definitory elements of both what is to be considered a treatment and how this could be good. Thereby, we identify deliberateness in the context of an adequately empathic and humane relationship as being at the core of a good treatment. Thus, care becomes treatment when provided deliberately and treatment becomes good, when provided deliberately with care. Since this understanding encompasses biological, psychological and social treatment constituents in the context of ethical considerations, we propose a ‘biopsychosocioethical’ model for treatment as a conceptual frame, which is centred on a shared understanding of what should be achieved by the treatment and how this is achieved.


Biopsychosocioethical model, care, deliberateness, empathy, ethics, patients as agents, person-centered healthcare, suffering, treatment

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