Value and application of the ICF in rehabilitation medicine

Disabil Rehabil. 2002 Nov 20;24(17):932-8. doi: 10.1080/09638280210148594.


Context: Rehabilitation medicine may be defined as the multi- and interdisciplinary management of a person's functioning and health. Rehabilitation medicine defines itself with respect to concepts of functioning, disability and health. Assessment and intervention management rely on these concepts. The current framework of disability--the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)--providing a coherent view of health from a biological, individual and social perspective.

Issue: However, ICF success will depend on its compatibility with measures used in rehabilitation and on the improvement of its practicability. Thus, it is expected to see the development of the ICF based on versions of currently used instruments and on the development of ICF core sets.

Conclusion: The new language ICF is an exciting landmark event for rehabilitation. It may lead to a stronger position of rehabilitation within the medical community, change multi-professional communication and improve communication between patients and rehabilitation professionals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Persons / classification
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Health Services / classification
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • World Health Organization