Community participation measures for people with disabilities: a systematic review of content from an international classification of functioning, disability and health perspective

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Apr;94(4):771-81. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.10.031. Epub 2012 Nov 10.


Objective: To identify instruments that measure community participation in people with disabilities and to evaluate which domains, to what extent, and how precisely they address this construct. The review aims to provide information to guide the selection of community participation instruments and to identify limitations of existing measures.

Data sources: A systematic search was performed in PubMed, CINAHL, and PsychINFO in February and March 2012. The latest systematic reviews and references of searched articles were also reviewed to check for measures that were not identified in the initial search.

Study selection: Instruments were included if they (1) were a self-report questionnaire; (2) measured community participation, participation, or community integration; (3) measured actual participation (rather than subjective experience); (4) had available information on the instrument content and measurement properties; (5) were designed for adults; and (6) were applicable for all disabled populations.

Data extraction: Instruments were obtained from identified full-text articles, reference lists, or websites. Two researchers independently reviewed each selected instrument to determine which of their items measure community participation. These items were then classified using 9 community participation domains from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health to reflect each instrument's domain coverage.

Data synthesis: Seventeen instruments were identified as containing community participation items, 2 of which were 100% composed of community participation items. The rest of the instruments included 8.7% to 73.1% items measuring community participation. The domain coverage varied from 3 to 8 domains across the instruments.

Conclusions: None of the 17 instruments covered the full breadth of community participation domains, but each addressed community participation to some extent. New instruments that evaluate community participation more comprehensively will be needed in the future.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Persons / classification*
  • Humans