The General Systems Theory (GST) was developed from “Systems Theory of Life” which was crafted by two biologists namely Paul Alfred Weiss and Ludwig von Bertalanffy. These biologists main quest was to surmount the mechanistic biological model. Through numerous experiments using butterflies, Weiss established that a biological incident necessitate adequate description at the system level and cannot be elaborated by individual experiments on the elementary level. On the other hand, Bertalanffy argued that biology cannot be assumed to another branch of chemistry or physics as its whole by itself. This in respect to the biopsychosocial model means that an incident on biopsychosocial or psychosocial level cannot be assumed to be biomedical consideration. With the incorporation of the GST, it was held that any theory that seeks to interpret human behavior has to consider close ties between psychology and sociology (Ghaemi, 2010, p. 86).
The biologists were also concerned with holism in biology. The holistic approach to biology and its components led to gradual development of the biopsychosocial model. The major contribution of the holistic theory to development of biopsychosocial was the development of connections between various units of biology. The pioneer biologists acknowledged that recognition of one disciple would not yield the desired results. Therefore, there was need to use a collaborative approach to social and psychological disciplines. The holism theory focused on trans-disciplinary dimension of disease occurrence where it could arise from either social or psychological setting. This thinking established a strong foundation for biopsychosocial model (cited in Wade, 2009).
A Holistic Perspective from Diabetes Point of View
Diabetes results from an abnormal behavior in physiologic insulin and blood sugar regulation in the body. The treatment of diabetes would require a more holistic approach that includes collaboration of various disciplines in the biological setting (cited in Wallace, 2011). According to Rovira (2002, p. 161), treatment of diabetes begs from the model of biopsychosocial where there is eminent need to consider both biomedical and psychosocial dimensions. The major reason for this inclusion is that either of the two may or may not be outspoken after diagnosis and may hinder effective treatment in the long run. The biomedical approach in diabetes concerns the actual treatment of the disease while the psychosocial aspect involves sustainability after treatment and preventive measures. For example, a medical practitioner would use biomedical aspect to control the patient’s glucose level. On the other hand psychosocial aspect would be used in counseling the patient and advising them on suitable nutrition methods. Hence, it is necessary for practitioners to utilize a holistic approach in order to combat the disease.
Potential Consequences of Reductionist Thinking In Diabetes
The reductionist thinking is of the notion that a particular system or object is equal to the combination of all its part. Reductionist thinking is a cause for alarm in some cases since it sometimes tends to focus more on the components and forget about the whole system. In diabetes for example, there exist potential problem where reductionism may focus more on the subsets of the disease and fail to focus on the disease as a whole. The disease is classified as a multifaceted disorder. Through reductionism, all the disease components may not be exhausted hence the reducing possibilities of conquering it. Individual analysis of the parts may not yield admirable results as the holistic approach to the whole system could (cited in Heng, 2013).