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Health Care Financ Rev. 2003 Spring;24(3):77-88.

WHO's ICF and functional status information in health records.

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  • 1WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.


A common framework for describing functional status information (FSI) in health records is needed in order to make this information comparable and of value. The World Health Organization's (WHO's) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), which has been approved by all its member States, provides this common language and framework. The biopsychosocial model of functioning and disability embodied in the ICF goes beyond disease and conceptualizes functioning from the individual's body, person, and lived experience vantage points, thereby allowing for planning interventions targeted at the individual's body, the individual as a whole or toward the environment. This framework then permits the evaluation of both the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of these different interventions in devising programs at the personal or societal level.

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