Validation of the comprehensive ICF Core Set for rheumatoid arthritis: the perspective of physicians

J Rehabil Med. 2010 Sep;42(8):780-8. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0599.


Objective: The "Comprehensive ICF Core Set for rheumatoid arthritis" represents the typical spectrum of problems in functioning of patients with rheumatoid arthritis according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The objective of this study was to validate this ICF Core Set from the perspective of physicians.

Methods: Physicians experienced in rheumatoid arthritis treatment were asked about the problems they commonly treat in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a 3-round survey using the Delphi technique. Responses were linked to the ICF.

Results: Seventy-nine physicians in 41 countries named 512 patients' problems. Two hundred and 27 ICF categories were linked to these answers. Twenty-six ICF categories were not represented in the Comprehensive ICF Core Set for rheumatoid arthritis and 19 aspects were not covered by the ICF.

Conclusion: The content validity of 3 ICF components was well supported. However, several body functions were identified that are not covered and need to be investigated further.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / classification*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / rehabilitation
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence
  • Delphi Technique
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians
  • Surveys and Questionnaires