ICF Core Set for vocational rehabilitation: results of an international consensus conference

Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(5):429-38. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.608145. Epub 2011 Oct 10.


Purpose: Vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs aim to facilitate work participation. However, there is no universal framework to describe the functioning of individuals who participate in VR. The objective of this paper is to report on the Core Set for VR based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Methods: A formal decision-making and consensus-based process was conducted based on the evidence from four preparatory studies. Twenty-three international experts chosen by WHO Region and expertise in VR attended the consensus conference.

Results: Ninety ICF categories were included in the comprehensive Core Set (activities and participation = 40, environmental factors = 33, body functions = 17), while the brief Core Set included 13 second-level categories (activities and participation = 6, environmental factors = 4, body functions = 3).

Conclusions: The expert opinion and evidence-based Core Set could serve as an international standard for what to measure and report concerning functioning of individuals in VR. The Core Set could also provide a common language among clinicians, researchers, insurers, and policymakers in the implementation of successful VR. Further testing and validation studies are encouraged.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Delphi Technique
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Persons / classification
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational*
  • World Health Organization