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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2017 Nov 16

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04970-X

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Graphical modeling: a tool for describing and understanding the functioning of people living with a health condition

Cristina EHRMANN 1, 2 , Jerome BICKENBACH 1, 2, 3, Gerold STUCKI 1, 2, 3

1 Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland; 2 Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF), Nottwil, Switzerland; 3 ICF Research Branch, a Cooperation Partner within the WHO Collaborating Centre for the Family of International Classifications in Germany (at DIMDI), Nottwil, Switzerland


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Rehabilitation aims to optimize people’s lived experience of health or functioning. A comprehensive understanding of people’s functioning is thus fundamental for rehabilitation clinicians and scientists. Over the past ten years it has been shown that graphical modelling is a promising technique for modelling data on people’s functioning. It can contribute to our understanding of the complex associations between domains of functioning and the identification of potential targets for rehabilitation interventions both at the level of the person and the environment. The objective of this methodological note is to demonstrate how graphical modeling can be used by rehabilitation clinicians and scientists in the description, understanding and influencing of people’s functioning. The application of graphical modelling and the interpretation of results is illustrated using the Spinal Cord Injury Independence Measure - Self Report used in the Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study. Finally, we discuss the potential of graphical modelling for the planning of studies that expand our understanding of functioning and for rehabilitation interventions.


KEY WORDS: International classification of functioning - Disability and health - Rehabilitation - Functioning - Graphical models

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Publication History

Article first published online: November 16, 2017
Manuscript accepted: November 8, 2017
Manuscript received: September 5, 2017

Cite this article as

Ehrmann C, Bickenbach J, Stucki G. Graphical modeling: a tool for describing and understanding the functioning of people living with a health condition. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017 Nov 16. DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04970-X

Corresponding author e-mail

cristina.bostan@paraplegie.ch