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Disabil Rehabil. 2006 Apr 30;28(8):489-504.

Assessment of everyday functioning in young children with disabilities: an ICF-based analysis of concepts and content of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI).

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Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo University College, and Østfold Hospital Trust-Habilitation Services and Institute of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway.



Assessment of everyday functioning in children may depend to a considerable extent on the framework used to conceptualise functioning and disability. The Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) has incorporated the mediating role of the environment on disability, using different measurement scales. The construction of the Functional Skills scales, which measure capability, and the Caregiver Assistance scales, which measure performance, was based on the Nagi disablement scheme. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) represents a new framework of functioning and disability that could be used to compare the measurement constructs and the content of different outcome measurements.


To examine the conceptual basis and the content of the PEDI using the ICF.


Phrases that describe the conceptual basis of the PEDI scales and of the ICF classifications were systematically collected and compared. Two researchers classified the item content of the Functional Skills scales independently before consensus was reached.


The analyses indicate that the conceptual basis of the PEDI scales to a large extent match the ICF concepts of activity, participation and environmental factors. Both the PEDI and the ICF use the constructs of capacity and performance, but differ in how to operationalise these constructs. The classification of the Functional Skills scales shows that the PEDI primarily is a measure of activities and participation. The frequently use of environmental codes to classify the context of the requested functions demonstrates that the PEDI has incorporated the environment into the assessment.


Our analyses indicate that the ICF could serve as a conceptual framework to clarify the measurement construct of the PEDI scales, and as taxonomy to describe and clarify the item content of the Functional Skills scales. Both as framework and taxonomy the ICF showed limitations in covering functioning in early childhood.

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