Research Topic

Clinical Implementation of ICF-based Functioning Information as Outcomes in Rehabilitation

About this Research Topic

Nearly twenty years have passed since the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001. The ICF represents a new way for health care providers to view patients' health and functioning. It offers an internationally recognized reference framework of functioning for clinical practice, as well as a common language for interprofessional and cross-sectorial communication across the continuum of care. Functioning is the third health indicator along with mortality and morbidity and captures all physical and mental functions of the body and associated anatomical structures, the actions and tasks people perform, and participation in life activities, all in interaction with the environment in which they live. Functioning is also a key health outcome for rehabilitation. A consequence of an aging society's increased survival from serious illness and the prevalence of chronic disease is a growing global population with impaired functioning. This highlights the importance of rehabilitation in the healthcare system. To optimize functioning and minimize disability, rehabilitation benefits from using functioning information to measure and report outcomes. Functioning information can be used for clinical assessments, goal-setting, intervention planning, and/or rehabilitation outcome evaluation.  

This Research Topic aims to provide readers with valuable information on current developments in implementing ICF-based functioning outcomes in real-life rehabilitation practice.  The topic hopes to provide insight, among other things, into how functioning-based outcome measures can be incorporated into daily clinical practice, how the ICF can be used to document rehabilitation outcomes of the patient, and into standardized outcome reporting across all rehabilitation settings and services. The research topic also aims to further reinforce the value of the ICF as the gold standard for collecting and analyzing functioning information in rehabilitation by showcasing real-life implementation of the ICF through quality, peer-reviewed publications.

We welcome a wide variety of articles within this Research Topic, for example, systematic and narrative review, original articles, studies with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research approaches and perspectives. The specific themes that the editors would like to address are the following:
·       Feasibility, reliability and clinical sensitivity of the functioning/ICF-based outcome measures
·       Practical approaches to ICF implementation or operationalization in clinical settings
·       Development and use of electronic documentation systems that have integrated functioning information or ICF-based outcomes measures
·       Measurement of functioning, including the operationalization of ICF qualifiers
·       Implementation of functioning outcome according to the Rehab-Cycle model
·       Healthcare providers' experience using functioning/ICF-based outcomes in clinical practice, including facilitators and challenges
·       Goal-setting and evaluation of goal achievement using functioning/ICF-based outcomes


Keywords: Implementation, Rehabilitation, Outcome Measures, Functioning, ICF


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Nearly twenty years have passed since the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001. The ICF represents a new way for health care providers to view patients' health and functioning. It offers an internationally recognized reference framework of functioning for clinical practice, as well as a common language for interprofessional and cross-sectorial communication across the continuum of care. Functioning is the third health indicator along with mortality and morbidity and captures all physical and mental functions of the body and associated anatomical structures, the actions and tasks people perform, and participation in life activities, all in interaction with the environment in which they live. Functioning is also a key health outcome for rehabilitation. A consequence of an aging society's increased survival from serious illness and the prevalence of chronic disease is a growing global population with impaired functioning. This highlights the importance of rehabilitation in the healthcare system. To optimize functioning and minimize disability, rehabilitation benefits from using functioning information to measure and report outcomes. Functioning information can be used for clinical assessments, goal-setting, intervention planning, and/or rehabilitation outcome evaluation.  

This Research Topic aims to provide readers with valuable information on current developments in implementing ICF-based functioning outcomes in real-life rehabilitation practice.  The topic hopes to provide insight, among other things, into how functioning-based outcome measures can be incorporated into daily clinical practice, how the ICF can be used to document rehabilitation outcomes of the patient, and into standardized outcome reporting across all rehabilitation settings and services. The research topic also aims to further reinforce the value of the ICF as the gold standard for collecting and analyzing functioning information in rehabilitation by showcasing real-life implementation of the ICF through quality, peer-reviewed publications.

We welcome a wide variety of articles within this Research Topic, for example, systematic and narrative review, original articles, studies with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research approaches and perspectives. The specific themes that the editors would like to address are the following:
·       Feasibility, reliability and clinical sensitivity of the functioning/ICF-based outcome measures
·       Practical approaches to ICF implementation or operationalization in clinical settings
·       Development and use of electronic documentation systems that have integrated functioning information or ICF-based outcomes measures
·       Measurement of functioning, including the operationalization of ICF qualifiers
·       Implementation of functioning outcome according to the Rehab-Cycle model
·       Healthcare providers' experience using functioning/ICF-based outcomes in clinical practice, including facilitators and challenges
·       Goal-setting and evaluation of goal achievement using functioning/ICF-based outcomes


Keywords: Implementation, Rehabilitation, Outcome Measures, Functioning, ICF


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

17 January 2021 Abstract
16 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

17 January 2021 Abstract
16 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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