Olle Höök Lectureship 2015: The World Health Organization’s paradigm shift and implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health in rehabilitation
Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Lucerne, Switzerland, Frohburgstrasse 3, P.O. Box 4466, CH-6002 Lucerne, Switzerland. E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) paradigm shift, implied by the launch of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), is inextricably entwined with the emergence of rehabilitation as a key health strategy of the 21st century. To enable health systems to scale up rehabilitation we must spearhead the implementation of the ICF in rehabilitation towards its system-wide implementation in the healthcare system at large. In this essay, based on the Olle Höök lecture 20151, it is argued that the launch of the ICF in 2001 represents a paradigm shift, as it has enabled the WHO to more comprehensively act on its mandate and has guided WHO policies to shape the health system in response to population functioning needs. It is shown that this paradigm shift has important implications for rehabilitation, including its conceptualization and scientific methods. A prerequisite for the system-wide implementation of the ICF in clinical practice, policy, and research, is the availability of practical tools that allow for the universal and standardized description of functioning. Finally, some reflections are presented on how we may foster the system-wide implementation of the ICF by applying approaches from the implementation sciences.
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