Operationalization of biopsychosocial case complexity in general health care: the INTERMED project

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2005 Sep;39(9):795-9. doi: 10.1080/j.1440-1614.2005.01684.x.


Objective: Lack of operationalization of the biopsychosocial model hinders its effective application to the increasingly prevalent problems of comorbidities in clinical presentations. Here, we describe the INTERMED, an instrument to assess biopsychosocial case complexity in general health care, and provide an overview of its psychometric evaluation.

Method: Review and summary of our publications to date, and re-analysis of findings.

Results: The INTERMED has face-validity, is brief and easy to use, and several research reports support its reliability and validity. It has the capacity to detect patients at risk for poor clinical outcome and quality of life.

Conclusions: The INTERMED project is relevant to various agents involved in the care process. It provides a basis for effective multidisciplinary treatment of patients with a high case complexity.

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Needs Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prognosis
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role*
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology