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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 May-Jun;24(3):239-46.

Identification of health problems in patients with acute inflammatory arthritis, using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

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  • 1Rheumazentrum-Ruhrgebiet, St. Josefs-Krankenhaus, Herne, Germany.



To identify the most common health problems experienced by patients with acute inflammatory arthritis using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and to provide empirical data for the development of an ICF Core Set for acute inflammatory arthritis.


Cross-sectional survey of patients with acute inflammatory arthritis of two or more joints requiring admission to an acute hospital. The second level categories of the ICF were used to collect information on patients' health problems. Relative frequencies of impairments, limitations and restrictions in the study population were reported for the ICF components Body Functions, Body Structures, and Activities and Participations. For the component Environmental Factors absolute and relative frequencies of perceived barriers or facilitators were reported.


In total, 130 patients were included in the survey. The mean age of the population was 59.9 years (median age 63.0 years), 75% of the patients were female. Most had rheumatoid arthritis (57%) or early inflammatory polyarthritis (22%). Fifty-four second-level ICF categories had a prevalence of 30% or more: 3 (8%) belonged to the component Body Structures and 10 (13%) to the component Body Functions. Most categories were identified in the components Activities and Participation (19; 23%) and Environmental Factors (22; 56%).


Patients with acute inflammatory arthritis can be well described by ICF categories and components. This study is the first step towards the development of an ICF Core Set for patients with acute inflammatory arthritis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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