To facilitate the use of the ICF in clinical practice, it is essential to have ICF-based tools that could be integrated into the existing processes. In the rehabilitation setting, ICF-based tools can be employed in rehabilitation management - the multidisciplinary team can use them to comprehensively describe the functioning of persons experiencing or likely to experience disability, to guide the planning of functioning-oriented rehabilitation services and evaluate changes in the functioning status over a certain time period.
Rehabilitation management can be characterized with a problem-solving approach. One such approach based on the ICF is the rehabilitation cycle, called Rehab-Cycle®. The Rehab-Cycle® can facilitate the structuring, organization and documentation of the rehabilitation process, as well as help the professionals involved in a patient's rehabilitation with coordinating their actions. This iterative process includes four key elements: 1) assessment, 2) assignment, 3) intervention and 4) evaluation.
Overview of the ICF-based documentation tools
For each element of the Rehab-Cycle®, ICF-based documentation tools have been developed that also take into account the ICF Core Sets. These tools aim to facilitate the documentation and planning of rehabilitation services. The ICF-based documentation tools are the ICF Assessment Sheet, ICF Categorical Profile, ICF Intervention Table and the ICF Evaluation Display.
These tools encouraged interdisciplinary communication in that they required the rehabilitation professionals involved to discuss and determine the overall health status of a person at the begining of rehabilitation (ICF Assessment Sheet), to decide on a mutual rating for each ICF category and set shared goals (ICF Categorical Profile), determine the appropriate interventions and allocate the respective responsibilities for conducting the interventions (ICF Intervention Sheet), and discuss and conclude goal achievement (ICF Evaluation Display). The set of ICF categories employed in the assessment, intervention planning and re-evaluation provides a common language for the various rehabilitation professionals involved.
In addition, the ICF-based documentation tools facilitate transparent documentation and information exchange between the rehabilitation professionals in the team.
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