International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health in Vocational Rehabilitation: A Scoping Review of the State of the Field

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Purpose The purposes of this study were to provide an outline of the existing literature on operationalization of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) within vocational rehabilitation (VR) and to explore the ICF utility within VR. Methods The process was undertaken in five stages according to a framework of scoping review. Screening and extraction of data were done by two independent reviewers, and data was summarized according to content analysis. Results Fifty papers (25 qualitative and 25 quantitative) were included. The operationalization of the ICF was described in four different ways: In total 18 (36%) papers described use of the ICF for structuring information, 8 (15%) for linking information to ICF, 12 (24%) for analysis of results, and 12 (24%) for development of a model. In total 15 (29%) papers described VR interventions involving stakeholders, whereas 32 (62%) were reviews. Forty of the papers described all the ICF components. Conclusions The review revealed use of the ICF within the field VR in 50 papers, and in various settings. The ICF framework was most often operationalized for structuring or linking information of functioning. A majority of papers were reviews and involved researchers only, whereas different stakeholders and VR professionals were involved in the interventions. In 40 papers all the ICF components were described, and the ICF was considered a useful tool to inform the VR professionals´ assessment of functioning. However, more research within VR is needed to standardize and ease the use of the ICF.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • occupational health services, rehabilitation, return to work, outcome assessment

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