[Manual] ICF – International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – PDF File

1. Background

This volume contains the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, known as ICF.1 The overall aim of the ICF classification is to provide a unified and standard language and framework for the description of health and health-related states. It defines components of health and some health-related components of well-being (such as education and labour). The domains contained in ICF can, therefore, be seen as health domains and healthrelated domains. These domains are described from the perspective of the body, the individual and society in two basic lists: (1) Body Functions and Structures; and (2) Activities and Participation. 2 As a classification, ICF systematically groups different domains3 for a person in a given health condition (e.g. what a person with a disease or disorder does do or can do). Functioning is an umbrella term encompassing all body functions, activities and participation; similarly, disability serves as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations or participation restrictions. ICF also lists environmental factors that interact with all these constructs. In this way, it enables the user to record useful profiles of individuals’ functioning, disability and health in various domains.

ICF belongs to the “family” of international classifications developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for application to various aspects of health. The WHO family of international classifications provides a framework to code a wide range of information about health (e.g. diagnosis, functioning and disability, reasons for contact with health services) and uses a standardized common language permitting communication about health and health care across the world in various disciplines and sciences. […]

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