In 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the ICF, which consists of a scheme/ model and four classifications. The conceptual ‘biopsychosocial’ ICF model represents health as the result of a dynamic interaction between functioning, a disorder (when present) and contextual (environmental and personal) factors.
‘Functioning’ – the central concept of the ICF – is about everything you have (body level/ functions and structure), everything you do (personal level/ activities), and everything you are or want to be (societal level/ participation). Functioning is influenced by the disorder, environmental factors and personal factors. With the ICF it is possible to describe health in an integrative, biopsychosocial manner.
The ICF can be used on a micro level (an individual client), meso level (level of an organisation or department), and macro level ((inter)nationally). On a micro level, the ICF can be used to describe the findings of the client him-/ herself, the findings of the professional, the functional diagnosis, the treatment goals (as part of the treatment plan) and the treatment results/ outcomes. On a meso level, the ICF can be used for management information. On a macro level, the ICF is used in research, the development of guidelines and measurement instruments, and in policy (e.g., in the selection criteria for assistive products).