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EDITORIAL  CURRENT STATE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF FUNCTIONING, DISABILITY AND HEALTH (ICF) IN PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE Freefree

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2008 September;44(3):315-28

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

ICF-based classification and measurement of functioning

Stucki G. 1, 2, 3, Kostanjsek N. 4, Üstün B. 4, Cieza A. 2, 3

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Munich University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany 2 ICF Research Branch of WHO FIC CC (DIMDI) IHRS, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany 3 Swiss Paraplegic Research, Nottwil, Switzerland 4 World Health Organization, CTS Team Geneva, Switzerland


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If we aim towards a comprehensive understanding of human functioning and the development of comprehensive programs to optimize functioning of individuals and populations we need to develop suitable measures. The approval of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in 2001 by the 54th World Health Assembly as the first universally shared model and classification of functioning, disability and health marks, therefore an important step in the development of measurement instruments and ultimately for our understanding of functioning, disability and health. The acceptance and use of the ICF as a reference framework and classification has been facilitated by its development in a worldwide comprehensive consensus process and the increasing evidence regarding its validity. However, the broad acceptance and use of the ICF as a reference framework and classification will also depend on the resolution of conceptual and methodological challenges relevant for the classification and measurement of functioning. This paper therefore describes first how the ICF categories can serve as building blocks for the measurement of functioning and then the current state of the development of ICF-based practical tools and international standards such as the ICF Core Sets. Finally, it illustrates how to map the world of measures to the ICF and vice versa and the methodological principles relevant for the transformation of information obtained with a clinical test or a patient-oriented instrument to the ICF as well as the development of ICF-based clinical and self-reported measurement instruments.

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