The ICF model of functioning and disability: incorporating quality of life and human development

Dev Neurorehabil. 2010;13(3):204-11. doi: 10.3109/17518421003620525.


Objective: Since its 2001 publication, a number of issues have been raised about the ICF. The World Health Organization anticipated the ICF would undergo a continuous process of revision. This paper adds to this process.

Method: This article describes how the ICF framework shares a number of tenets with a systems perspective. An argument is built for why the ICF model of functioning and disability should be expanded to include the concepts of quality of life and human development. A modified model is presented that depicts a person's life quality and his/her potential for development as the outcomes and processes that arise from the interconnected, ever-changing influences of health, functioning and contextual factors.

Conclusions: A modified ICF model based on a systems perspective depicts a holistic view that acknowledges health, functioning, life quality and development are intertwined and are essential concepts to consider in the lives of all people.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • World Health Organization