The ICF: A Classification System and Conceptual Framework Ideal for Audiological Rehabilitation

    Abstract

    In 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health, commonly referred to as the ICF (WHO, 2001), which is a biopsychosocial classification system of health. It provides a common framework for describing consequences of health conditions and specifically for understanding the dimensions of health and functioning. The ICF is particularly relevant for rehabilitation sciences because the health conditions of people seeking rehabilitation services are typically chronic and the associated impairments cannot be cured. The present article highlights some key differences between a curative and a rehabilitative approach to health services. Then, the components of the IFC are defined, described, and illustrated. The main characteristics of the classification system are outlined. Finally, some important features associated with the use of the ICF as a conceptual framework for clinical services in rehabilitative audiology are presented.

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