Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

The Meikirch Model as a Conceptual Framework for Person Centered Healthcare

Joannes Bircher, Eckhart G Hahn


Person Centered Healthcare focuses on re-personalization of health services, on re-sensitization of medicine to fundamental notions of compassion and care and on re-inculcation in clinicians of an ambition to treat patients as persons. The Meikirch model is a new definition of health that aims to transform thinking about health from an undetermined and ill-defined notion to a concept with a well-defined structure. It contains 5 components and 10 complex interactions that in health must function in such a way that the biologically given potential (BGP) and the personally acquired potential (PAP) of a person together respond satisfactorily to his or her demands of life. An unsatisfactory response leads to disease. When comparing person-centered healthcare with the Meikirch model the question arises whether or not the 2 ways of thinking are compatible and complement each other. Analysis of details suggests a full agreement between the 2, yet the final answer to this question must be given by the European Society for Person Centered Healthcare.


Biologically given potential, determinants of health, evidence-based medicine, health, Meikirch model, person-centered healthcare, personally acquired potential, scientific medicine

Full Text:



Miles, A. & Asbridge, J.E. (2013). The European Society for Person Centered Healthcare. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 1 (1) 4-40.

Miles, A. & Asbridge, J.E. (2016). The Chronic Illness Problem. The Person Centered Solution. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 4 (1) 1-5.

Bircher, J. & Kuruvilla, S. (2014). Defining health by addressing individual, social, and environmental determinants: new opportunities for health care and public health. Journal of Public Health Policy 35 (3) 363-386.

Bircher, J. & Hahn, E.G. (2016). Understanding the nature of health: New perspectives for medicine and public health. Improved wellbeing at lower costs. F1000Research 5, 167.

Maklem, P.T. & Seely, A. (2010). Towards a definition of life. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 53 (3) 330-340.

Lansing, J. (2003). Complex Adaptive Systems. Annual Review of Anthropology 32 (1) 183-204.

Bircher, J. & Hahn, E.G. (2016). Applying a complex adaptive system’s understanding of health to primary care. F1000Research 5, 1672.

Antonovsky A. (1987). Unraveling the Mystery of Health: How People Manage Stress and Stay Well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Virchow R. 1858). Die Cellularpathologie in Ihrer Begründung Auf Physiologische Und Pathologische Gewebelehre : Zwanzig Vorlesungen. Berlin: Hirschwald; Available at:

WHO. (1948). WHO Definition of Health. Available at:

Bircher, J. & Hahn, E.G. (2017). “Multimorbidity” as the manifestation of network disturbances. From nosology to the Meikirch model. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 23 (1) 222-224.



  • There are currently no refbacks.