Question: Why use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability & Health in pediatric PT?
Answer: The framework of the ICF will help you access and organize your knowledge to provide a sound foundation for clinical decision making.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework for describing and organizing information on functioning, health and disability. The ICF-CY is specific to children and youth. In 2001, the World Health Organization adopted the ICF as the basis of standardized scientific data on health and disability for use throughout the world. It is applicable in health fields from mental health to orthopedics, neurology to cardiology. The Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association (NDT) immediately recognized its importance as a conceptual framework for applying the NDT concept to pediatric physical therapy and began to use the framework in eight-week pediatric courses. Moving on in time, in 2008, The American Physical Therapy Association publicly endorsed the use of the ICF. This set the expectation that ICF language begin to be used in publications, documents and communication. Already, participation and environmental factors were becoming common points of discussion in pediatric physical therapy. In current time, therapists are learning that we must begin to use ICF terminology and the ICF framework in our daily practice and communication, but what is it and how does it work? That is the tricky part.
I was first introduced to the ICF during a section at the 2001 NDTA Conference. I immediately began to restructure the way I approached and thought about my more complicated clients. I was a fairly new PT at that time and goodness knows I needed some help prioritizing. Continue reading “What is the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)?”