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Can the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) be used in a prosthetics and orthotics outpatient clinic?


Burger, Helena


International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics; National Centre for Training and Education in Prosthetics and Orthotics


Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 2011, Volume 35 (Number 3), Seite 302-309, London: Sage Periodicals Press, ISSN: 0309-3646 (Print); 1746-1553 (Online)





The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) covers all aspects and levels of human functioning.


The aim of the study was to find out whether the ICF can be used in everyday prosthetics and orthotics (P&O) clinical practice for description of human functioning, and whether it can demonstrate the influence of a prosthesis or an orthosis on a person's functioning.

Study Design:

Prospective clinical study.


A short list of ICF codes was compiled from Annex 9 and used for one month for all patients seen at the author's P&O outpatient clinics.


One hundred patients (59 men, average age 58 years) with different medical problems were included in the study. From 6 to 27 (14 on average) ICF categories from all four components of ICF were used in these patients. The most frequently used category for body functions was mobility of joint functions, for body structures it was structure of the skin and for activities and participation it was walking. Public and private buildings were the only barriers identified.


It can be concluded that the ICF can be used in everyday P&O clinical practice. An ICF list of categories provides quick additional information. To be able to demonstrate the influence of P&O devices on person's functioning, at least for activities and participation, one has to use qualifiers.

Clinical Relevance:

For clinicians it is important to know that it is possible to use the ICF in clinical practice and that it can demonstrate the impact of P&O devices on a person's functioning.

Weitere Informationen:

Informationen in der ICF:


Zeitschriftenbeitrag / Forschungsergebnis


Prosthetics and Orthotics International

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Informationsstand: 01.06.2012

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