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Use of international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) to describe patient-reported disability in multiple sclerosis and identification of relevant environmental factors
OBJECTIVE: To use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to describe patient-reported disability in multiple sclerosis and identify relevant environmental factors.
METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of 101 participants in the community. Their multiple sclerosis-related problems were linked with ICF categories (second level) using a checklist, consensus between health professionals and the “linking rules”. The impact of multiple sclerosis on health areas corresponding to 48 ICF categories was also assessed.
RESULTS: A total of 170 ICF categories were identified (mean age 49 years, 72 were female). Average number of problems reported was 18. The categories include 48 (42%) for body function, 16 (34%) body structure, 68 (58%) activities and participation and 38 (51%) for environmental factors. Extreme impact in health areas corresponding to ICF categories for activities and participation were reported for mobility, work, everyday home activities, community and social activities. While those for the environmental factors (barriers) included products for mobility, attitudes of extended family, restriction accessing social security and health resources.
CONCLUSION: This study is a first step in the use of the ICF in persons with multiple sclerosis and towards development of the ICF Core set for multiple sclerosis from a broader international perspective.
Fary Khan and Julie F. Pallant
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