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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences




Health psychology is multidisciplinary, with researchers, practitioners, and policy makers finding themselves needing at least some level of competency in a variety of areas from psychology to physiology, public health, and others. Given this multidisciplinary ontology, prior attempts have been made to establish a framework for understanding the role of biological, psychological, and socio-environmental constructs in disease development, maintenance, and treatment. Other models, however, do not explain how factors may interact and develop over time. The aim here was to apply and adapt the 3P model, originally developed and used in the treatment of insomnia, to couch the biopsychosocial model in a way that explains how diseases develop, are maintained, and can be treated. This paper outlines the role of predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors in disease states and conditions (the 3Ps) and provides examples of how this model may be adapted and applied to a number of health-related diseases or disorders including chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, oral disease, and heart disease. The 3P framework can aid in facilitating a multidisciplinary, theoretical approach and way of conceptualizing the study and treatment of diseases in the future.

Source Citation

Wright, C. D., Tiani, A. G., Billingsley, A. L., Steinman, S. A., Larkin, K. T., & McNeil, D. W. (2019). A Framework for Understanding the Role of Psychological Processes in Disease Development, Maintenance, and Treatment: The 3P-Disease Model. Frontiers in Psychology, 10.


Copyright © 2019 Wright, Tiani, Billingsley, Steinman, Larkin and McNeil. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

This article received support from the WVU Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.



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