The consideration of contextual factors in sociomedical assessment in Germany
In the course of implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, medical experts in social security systems in Germany are increasingly confronted with the task of describing and assessing the many different implications of disease and disability within the framework of the biopsychosocial model. In particular, the question of whether and which rehabilitation measures are appropriate requires a comprehensive assessment of need according to Book IX of the Social Code (SGB IX
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF
), which is the classification of the biopsychosocial model, draws the medical experts attention to the impact of disability and to a persons background, that is to say the contextual factors, thus completing the biomedical perspective.
The question of to what extent contextual factors environmental factors as well as personal factors are relevant preconditions for claiming social benefits differs within the social security system of Germany, which has developed over time. The article gives an overview of the importance attached to contextual factors when sociomedical experts in Germany evaluate benefit claims, together with examples.