Development of an International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)-based standard set to describe the impact of joint contractures on participation of older individuals in geriatric care settings

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2015 Jul-Aug;61(1):61-6. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2015.03.005. Epub 2015 Mar 25.


Introduction: Joint contractures are characterized as impairment of the physiological movement of joints due to deformity, disuse or pain and have major impact especially for older individuals in geriatric care. Some measures for the assessment of the impact of joint contractures exist. However, there is no consensus on which aspects should constantly be measured. Our objective was to develop a standard-set based on the ICF for describing functioning and disability in older individuals with joint contractures in geriatric care settings, giving special emphasis to activities and participation.

Methods: The ICF-based standard set was developed in a formal decision-making and consensus process and based on an adapted version of the protocol to develop ICF Core Sets. These are sets of categories from the ICF, serving as standards for the assessment, communication and reporting of functioning and health for clinical studies, clinical encounters and multi-professional comprehensive assessment and management.

Results: Twenty-three experts from Germany and Switzerland selected 105 categories of the ICF component Activities and Participation for the ICF-based standard set. The largest number of categories was selected from the chapter Mobility (50 categories, 47.6%).

Conclusions: The standard set for older individuals with joint contractures provides health professionals with a standard for describing patients' activity limitations and participation restrictions. The standard set also provides a common basis for the development of patient-centered measures and intervention programs. The preliminary version of the ICF-based standard set will be tested in subsequent studies with regard to its psychometric properties.

Keywords: Activities of daily living; ICF; ICF-based standard set; Joint contracture; Older people; Social participation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Contracture / classification*
  • Contracture / rehabilitation
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / classification*
  • Joint Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Male