Functioning is a central dimension in patients experiencing or likely to experience disability. Accordingly, concepts, classifications and measurements of functioning and health are key to clinical practice, research and teaching. Within this context, the approval of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Assembly in May 2001 is considered a landmark event. The ICF establishes the beginning of a new era of patient-oriented clinical practice, research, and teaching.

Read more: Functioning at the Core

Structure of the ICF

This bio-psycho-social perspective guided the development of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF). As such, the components of the classification correspond to the components of the model. Within each component, there is an exhaustive list of ICF categories that serve as the units of the classification. ICF categories are denoted by unique alphanumeric codes and are hierarchically organized in chapter, second, third and fourth levels. When going from the chapter level to the fourth level, the category's definition becomes more detailed.

Read more: The Content of the Classification