Content » Vol 48, Issue 6

Original report

Towards system-wide implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in routine practice: Developing simple, intuitive descriptions of ICF categories in the ICF Generic and Rehabilitation Set

Birgit Prodinger, Jan D. Reinhardt, Melissa Selb, Gerold Stucki, Tiebin Yan, Xia Zhang, Jianan Li
ICF Unit, Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF), Guido A. Zäch Institute, CH-6207 Nottwil, Switzerland. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2066


Objective: A national, multi-phase, consensus process to develop simple, intuitive descriptions of International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) categories contained in the ICF Generic and Rehabilitation Sets, with the aim of enhancing the utility of the ICF in routine clinical practice, is presented in this study.
Methods: A multi-stage, national, consensus process was conducted. The consensus process involved 3 expert groups and consisted of a preparatory phase, a consensus conference with consecutive working groups and 3 voting rounds (votes A, B and C), followed by an implementation phase. In the consensus conference, participants first voted on whether they agreed that an initially developed proposal for simple, intuitive descriptions of an ICF category was in fact simple and intuitive.
Results: The consensus conference was held in August 2014 in mainland China. Twenty-one people with a background in physical medicine and rehabilitation participated in the consensus process. Four ICF categories achieved consensus in vote A, 16 in vote B, and 8 in vote C.
Discussion: This process can be seen as part of a larger effort towards the system-wide implementation of the ICF in routine clinical and rehabilitation practice to allow for the regular and comprehensive evaluation of health outcomes most relevant for the monitoring of quality of care.

Lay Abstract

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