Author(s): Gladman JR
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Abstract In this paper, I argue that the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), proposed by the World Health Organization, provides not only a model to understand health, but a model to understand rehabilitation and geriatric medicine. The ICF proposes that poor health is defined by a complex product of the interactions between several domains: body functions and structures (and impairments of them), activities (and limitations in their performance), participation (and restrictions to it), the physical and social environment (which may be facilitating or hindering) and personal factors. I propose that the ICF allows a logical classification of the potential interventions that are possible to improve health during rehabilitation or geriatric practice. These interventions may target each of the domains of health in the ICF. An example is given illustrating this approach in the management of a person who has fallen. This model of rehabilitation illustrates that rehabilitation is a complex multidisciplinary process, comprising restorative and adaptive strategies including the use of assistive technologies, and which is reliant upon careful assessment and care planning.
This article was published in J Chin Med Assoc
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation