The World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health: a model to guide clinical thinking, practice and research in the field of cerebral palsy

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2004 Mar;11(1):5-10. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2004.01.002.


The way we think about health and disease determines to a considerable extent what we do and say in our clinical encounters with patients. The recent publication and promotion of the World Health Organization's International Classification of Function, Health, and Disability (known as the ICF) represents an exciting new way to consider health and disease. In the context of children and youth with cerebral palsy, this model offers many heretofore ignored "point of entry" for counselling and intervention with these conditions. This model also provides many possibilities to explore research questions with a fresh approach. This article outlines the ICF model and discusses these opportunities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Cerebral Palsy* / classification
  • Cerebral Palsy* / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy* / therapy
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • International Classification of Diseases*
  • World Health Organization*