Datum: 29.02.2024
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International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) – Utilization and Implementation

Profile of the research cluster

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework for describing and organizing information on functioning and disability. It provides a standard language and a conceptual basis for the definition and measurement of health and disability.

ICF was adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001. With the bio-psycho-social approach, it is a supplementary strategy for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Herein, ICF allows for a more comprehensive view on health and provides a standard language that can be used both interdisciplinary and internationally. This module has a person-centered approach in which the person whose health is to be assessed, takes part in the actual exchange process.

The aim of the research cluster is to examine the utilization and implementation of ICF in Germany. All our research approaches are in accord with WHOs objectives. Within WHO, different working groups are in charge of the different topics of the utilization and implementation of ICF.

Scientific areas in the research cluster ICF – utilization and implementation

»workplan« of the WHO Family of International Classifications

The input from the German Delegation is rooted in the workplan of the WHO Family of International Classifications. This concerns the evaluation of the »update proposals« for the »update revision committee«. »Update proposals« are evaluated, commented or conceptualized – in close collaboration with and by order of the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI).

Utilization of ICF in Germany

As of today, ICF is not widely used within Germany. With the introduction of the Bundesteilhabegesetz (BTHG) 2018, this will change. Within the BTHG, there are manifold indications towards ICF and its utilization in interdisciplinary contexts. The ICF-utilization will become mandatory with the introduction of the BTHG in Germany in future years. There is a demand, however, on relevant instruments and evidence-based resources to utilize ICF. The ICF Research Institute (IRIs) examines the different topics of implementation and utilization of ICF.

The technical head of the research institute is Professor Dr phil. Liane Simon. Since 2015, she is consulting member of the German delegation (dimdi) of the World Health Organization Family of International Classification (WHO-FIC) and takes part in the annual and bi-annual WHO-FIC conferences. In this role, she is directly involved with the working groups »Education and Implementation« (EIC), »Update and Revision Committee« (URC) and »Functioning and Disability Reference Group (FDRG)«.

Project lead:
International cooperation, WHO

2015 - 2020

Disciplines involved:
Medicine, Therapeutic Sciences, Psychology, Educational Sciences  

Project description

[Translate to English:] The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. Manfred Pretis

2018 - 2021

Disciplines involved:
School specialists (teachers, special school teachers, school psychologists, therapists, parents, students, school medical doctors)

Project description

Current projects in the research cluster ICF – utilization and implementation