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Juan Mezzich


Background: Person Centered Medicine places the person at the center of the
concept of health and as the proper target of health actions. This makes positive
health, including wellbeing and quality of life, a matter of high interest among the
concepts, procedures and activities of person centered medicine and health.
Objectives: This paper is aimed at exploring, documenting and discussing the
concepts and procedures for positive health, particularly well-being and quality of
life, within the framework of person centered medicine and health.
Method: For addressing these objectives, first, a selective review of the literature
was conducted concerning the place of positive health within the recognized
concepts and practical procedures of the programmatic movement on Person
Centered Medicine. Then, a more systematic review of the medical and health
literature was conducted on concepts and procedures for addressing and assessing
well-being and quality of life within the framework of person centered medicine.
Results: Findings concerning positive health developments (particularly involving
well-being and quality of life) produced under the aegis of the International
College of Person Centered Medicine included, first, its place in the systematic
conceptualization of person centered medicine, where it is part and parcel of the
principles on ethics commitment and holistic framework, as well as the principlesbased
Person-centered Care Index (PCI). Second, positive health is a distinctive
and prominent element of the informational domains of the Person-centered
Integrative Diagnosis (PID) model, as well as in practical applications such as the
Latin American Guide for Psychiatric Diagnosis developed and published by the
Psychiatric Association of Latin America (APAL). A second set of findings
emerged from a systematic review of the literature on “Person centered medicine,
well-being and quality of life”. It yielded 27 papers, dealing with theoretical
concepts and instrumentation, which were tabularly analyzed. The concepts of
well-being (WB) and quality of life (QoL) tended to be used interchangeably as
well as complementarily, with QoL tending to be seen as more encompassing and
often incorporating WB. Some major well-being studies have used a group of
instruments to cover key aspects of WB. Several encompassing instruments for
the assessment of QoL and WB were identified, having a range of features and
applications. Among the most frequently used seem to be the WHO-instrument
for Quality of Life and the Multicultural Quality of Life Index.
Discussion: The importance ascribed to positive health is growing internationally,
with particular focus on WB and QoL. This is illustrated by the United Nations’
Sustainable Development Goals, which formulates its Goal on Health in terms of
promoting healthy lives and well-being for all.
Conclusions: The importance of QoL and WB in the health field in general and
in particular for person-centered medicine has been well documented. Some
useful and encompassing instruments for assessing these concepts have been
elucidated, which have general applicability and are substantially validated

Article Details

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Author Biography

Juan Mezzich, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York

Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; Hipolito Unanue Professor of Person Centered Medicine, San Fernando Faculty of Medicine, San Marcos National University, Lima; Secretary General and Former President, International College of Person-Centered Medicine; Former President, World Psychiatric Association.