Content » Vol 43, Issue 2

Original report

The ICF as a way to specify goals and to assess the outcome of physiotherapeutic interventions in the acute hospital.

Erika Huber, Alex Tobler, Thomas Gloor, Eva Grill , Barbara Gut
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0629


Objective: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to measure the effect of physiotherapy treatment.
Design: A prospective cohort study with an additional case report.
Patients: Individuals were eligible for the study if they were patients at the University Hospital of Zurich and had received physiotherapeutic interventions during their inpatient stay.
Methods: Patient’s functioning was assessed by physiotherapists at initiation of physiotherapeutic treatment and at discharge using ICF Core Sets.
Results: A total of 425 patients were analysed, mean age 60 years, 42% female. The median of treatment days varied
between 4 (intensive care unit) and 19 (low back pain). The majority of patients had improved or stable results; improvement was most prominent in the surgical and internal medicine group. The ICF category d450 “Walking” appears in 4 out of 6 ICF Core Sets, being only infrequently treated in intensive care unit and low back pain
Conclusion: Analysis showed that the ICF can be used to record precise information on patients’ functioning in the acute hospital. Typical impairments and restrictions, intervention goals and trajectories of functioning could be documented.
The qualifiers used in our clinical example were sensitive to change. Definitions of qualifiers, however, should be the
subject of further research.

Lay Abstract


Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.