The Importance of a Biopsychosocial Approach in Melanoma Research
Experiences from a Single-center Multidisciplinary Melanoma Working Group in Middle-Europe
Erika Richtig, Michael Trapp, Hans-Peter Kapfhammer, Brigitte Jenull, Georg Richtig, Eva-Maria Trapp
The biopsychosocial model represents a very important theoretical framework developed in the 21th century. According to a body mind unity theory, it postulates that research must focus not only on biomedical but also on other aspects in order to understand complex interactions occurring on different system levels. With regard to the occurrence of melanoma, both immunologic surveillance and a lack of cancerogenic factors are crucial in the suppression of tumor development. In addition, a reduction in mental stress (employing effective strategies for coping with stress) in cases of malignant disease seems to prolong life. Focusing on these theories, examples of studies that followed an interdisciplinary, biopsychosocial approach to melanoma research conducted at one center are given to emphasize the multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary aspects of the biopsychosocial model.