Employing the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health to Enhance Services for Children and Youth with Chronic Physical Health Conditions and Disabilities
Paediatrics and Child Health
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In 2001, the World Health Organization published the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The ICF is just beginning to be used in a variety of clinical and research settings in Canada and worldwide. The purpose of the present article is to describe the initial use of the ICF at an Ontario children's rehabilitation centre, and to consider further uses both within and outside the centre for enhancing services for children and youth with chronic physical health conditions and disabilities, as well as for their families. METHOD
A description is provided on how the ICF has been used at the centre to guide clinical thinking and practice, and to justify and steer research directions. Plans underway to use the ICF to collect and record functional data at the centre are also described. Finally, recommendations for the use of the ICF to enhance communication among child health professionals across service settings are provided. CONCLUSIONS
Used in conjunction with the International Classification of Diseases – Tenth Revision, the ICF's conceptual framework and classification system shows great promise for enhancing the quality of services for children with chronic conditions and their families. This information may assist paediatric specialists, other child health professionals, researchers and administrators to use the ICF in similar settings. It may also stimulate exploration of the use of the ICF for general paediatricians and other service providers in the larger community.