An ICF-based assessment schedule to facilitate the assessment and reporting of functioning in manual medicine - low back pain as a case in point

Disabil Rehabil. 2022 Dec;44(26):8339-8348. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2021.2012842. Epub 2021 Dec 17.


Purpose: This paper outlines the first steps toward developing the ICF-based assessment schedule for manual medicine with a focus on low back pain (LBP). It reports on the results of a consensus process to develop the default and optional versions of the set of ICF categories (ManMed Set) the assessment schedule should cover, and gives insight in expert input toward building a toolbox of instruments for assessing the ManMed Set categories.

Methods: A scoping review and qualitative study were conducted, each resulting in a list of ICF categories. These categories, along with the categories of the ICF Generic-30 Set, Comprehensive ICF Core Set for LBP, and from an existing Delphi study, served as the starting point for an established consensus process to decide on the ManMed Set.

Results: After alternating plenary and working group sessions, an iterative ranking process and cut-off calculation, the multi-professional and international group of 20 experts in manual medicine included 23 categories in the default ManMed version (16 + the ICF Generic-7 Set categories) and 25 in the optional version.

Conclusions: Their development is a major step toward developing an assessment schedule that can be employed in standardizing the assessment and reporting of functioning in manual medicine, initially of LBP patients.Implications for rehabilitationThe ICF assessment schedule for manual medicine has potential use in supporting rehabilitation practice, such as for planning interventions, defining rehabilitation goals, and measuring and documenting functioning outcomes.It can be used to promote interdisciplinary coordination of care and facilitate communication between members of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team within manual medicine and beyond.The ICF assessment schedule for manual medicine can facilitate rehabilitation and manual medicine research by providing evidence for optimizing rehabilitation practice.

Keywords: International classification of functioning; disability and health; functioning; low back pain; musculoskeletal manipulations; outcomes assessment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Consensus
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons* / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
  • Low Back Pain* / diagnosis
  • Qualitative Research