Studying Cognitive Performance in the Elderly

A Biopsychosocial Approach
  • Jerry Avorn
Part of the Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect book series (ASCA, volume 8)


The concept of a biopsychosocial model of human health and illness has been known intuitively to clinicians and researchers since the times of the earliest shamans and was explicated more recently by Engel (1977) in a more formal manner. This approach conceptualizes the person in health and illness as a part of a network of systems, from the molecular to the societal. Proper understanding of health or illness can thus come only with understanding of the role played by each level of organization in the day-to-day (or minute-to-minute or year-to-year) functioning of the organism.


Elderly Subject Senile Dementia Mental Impairment Learn Helplessness Inescapable Shock 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry Avorn
    • 1
  1. 1.Division on AgingHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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