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
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.
Key words: ICF; physiotherapy; physical therapy; goals; outcome assessment; classification.