To present a framework for developing an International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)-based documentation system in spinal cord injury (SCI)-specific rehabilitation.
Data collection took place at Maharaj Hospital, Thailand. The preparatory studies and analysis were performed at Swiss Paraplegic Research, Switzerland.
Data collected from interviews and health records of four SCI cases across the continuum of care (acute, post-acute, early and late long term) were linked to ICF categories using established ICF linking rules. The resulting categories were compared with selected ICF sets (ICF Generic-30, ICF core sets for SCI and multiple sclerosis) to determine the extent of coverage. Furthermore, the context of applicable services was described systematically.
Less than half of the ICF categories in the defined ICF sets were covered by clinical assessment tools. Low correspondence was found predominantly in acute and late long-term phase. Least well covered were categories of activities and participations and environmental factors. The correspondence of categories increased when considering the additional ICF categories identified from patient interviews. The description of rehabilitation services provided in each case classified according to the dimensions of service provider, funding, and service delivery.
There is a need to promote the systematic and standardized assessment of functioning among health professionals working in the field of SCI in developing countries. This study describes basic steps toward developing a standardized ICF-based system for assessing and reporting functioning outcomes in SCI rehabilitation and across the continuum of care.
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The materials used in this study are all public domain. Detailed linking sheets can be requested by the authors.
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The authors thank to Roxanne Maritz who supported the linking process.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethical approval was obtained from Ethical Committee of Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University.
All participants signed informed consent before participating.
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Pongpipatpaiboon, K., Selb, M., Kovindha, A. et al. Toward a framework for developing an ICF-based documentation system in spinal cord injury-specific rehabilitation based on routine clinical practice: a case study approach. Spinal Cord Ser Cases 6, 33 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41394-020-0283-8