World Health Organization disability assessment schedule 2.0: An international systematic review

Disabil Rehabil. 2017 Nov;39(23):2347-2380. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2016.1223177. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


Purpose: This systematic review examines research and practical applications of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0) as a basis for establishing specific criteria for evaluating relevant international scientific literature. The aims were to establish the extent of international dissemination and use of WHODAS 2.0 and analyze psychometric research on its various translations and adaptations. In particular, we wanted to highlight which psychometric features have been investigated, focusing on the factor structure, reliability, and validity of this instrument.

Method: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology, we conducted a search for publications focused on "whodas" using the ProQuest, PubMed, and Google Scholar electronic databases.

Results: We identified 810 studies from 94 countries published between 1999 and 2015. WHODAS 2.0 has been translated into 47 languages and dialects and used in 27 areas of research (40% in psychiatry).

Conclusions: The growing number of studies indicates increasing interest in the WHODAS 2.0 for assessing individual functioning and disability in different settings and individual health conditions. The WHODAS 2.0 shows strong correlations with several other measures of activity limitations; probably due to the fact that it shares the same disability latent variable with them. Implications for Rehabilitation WHODAS 2.0 seems to be a valid, reliable self-report instrument for the assessment of disability. The increasing interest in use of the WHODAS 2.0 extends to rehabilitation and life sciences rather than being limited to psychiatry. WHODAS 2.0 is suitable for assessing health status and disability in a variety of settings and populations. A critical issue for rehabilitation is that a single "minimal clinically important .difference" score for the WHODAS 2.0 has not yet been established.

Keywords: DSM-5; ICF; PRISMA; WHODAS 2.0; disability measurement; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • World Health Organization*