Patients' view on health-related aspects of functioning and disability of joint contractures: a qualitative interview study based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

Disabil Rehabil. 2014;36(26):2225-32. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2014.899634. Epub 2014 Mar 13.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify health-relevant aspects of functioning and disability of persons aged 65 years or older with joint contractures, to link the findings to corresponding ICF categories and to describe the patients' perspective.

Methods: We conducted 43 qualitative, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with affected persons in two different locations (Witten, Munich) and in three different settings. Data were analyzed using the "meaning condensation procedure" and then linked to ICF categories.

Results: From all interviews a total of 2499 single meaning-concepts were extracted which were linked to 324 different ICF categories. The participants in all settings mainly reported problems related to "Mobility of a single joint (b710)", "Sensation of pain (b280)" and problems related to "Walking (d450)". Almost all participants reported "Products and technology for personal indoor and outdoor mobility and transportation (e120)" as a relevant environmental factor.

Conclusions: From the patients' perspective, joint contractures have an impact on multifaceted aspects of functioning and disability, mainly body functions, environmental factors and activities and participation. The results of this study will contribute to the development of a standard instrument for measuring functioning, disability and health-relevant aspects for patients with joint contractures.

Keywords: Geriatric; joint contracture; outcome assessment (health care); qualitative research; social participation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contracture / physiopathology*
  • Contracture / psychology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Joint Diseases / psychology*
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Participation*