The application of the biomedical model and computer technology in decision-making mental care diagnosis and treatment

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

John W. Murphy - Committee Chair


The incidence and prevalence of mental illness has continued to rise in our society. Increasingly, the medical model and computer technology have gained a stronghold in conceptualizing and categorizing this form of disorder. It is argued that the underlying tenets that sustain the dominance of the biomedical model and computerization are considered to be mutually reinforcing. In particular, it is demonstrated that computer technology reinforces and upholds the basic principles of the medical model, which in turn support a particular definition of mental health and illness. In addition, it is recognized that the application of computerization does not only bolster the tenets of this particular model, but also results in the avoidance of any form of scrutiny due to computer technology's emphasis on objectivity and value freedom, making it a proper vehicle by which to define normalcy/malady. The role of computer-based psychological programs that serve as support systems in categorizing and treating psychological illness is also discussed. In addition, a critique of the process used to define health and illness is provided, as well as a more appropriate alternative that relies on a more socially sensitive approach.


Sociology, Theory and Methods; Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

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