Volume 19, Issue 3 (September 2021)                   Iranian Rehabilitation Journal 2021, 19(3): 261-272 | Back to browse issues page


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1- Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria.
2- Godiya Disability Inclusion and Development Initiative (GDID), Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria.
3- Department of Physiotherapy, Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria.
4- Department of Physiotherapy, General Hospital Kazaure, Nigeria.
Abstract:   (462 Views)
Objectives: To overcome the inherent limitations of the medical and social models of disability, the World Health Organization developed the first international conceptualization of disability: the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). Despite the ICF’s robustness, it is still underutilized in research and practice in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). This article discusses the applications, strengths, limitations, and unique considerations when using the ICF to explore disabilities in LMICs like Nigeria.
Methods: A literature search was conducted in Medline, CINAHL, Web of Science, AMED, and Google Scholar. Articles were selected if they reported on any of the development, structure, applications, strengths, and limitations of the ICF. The review draws from the selected articles using a narrative discussion.
Results: The literature search yielded 22 articles that met the eligibility criteria. The ICF is a classification of components of health and functioning, which views disability as an outcome of a dynamic interaction between a person’s health condition and contextual factors. The ICF was developed cross-culturally; thus, it is applicable in various socio-environmental contexts. However, despite its comprehensiveness, the ICF is criticized for lack of clear theoretical underpinnings, overlapping and redundant components, and absence of systematized personal factors.
Discussion: The ICF has brought a significant paradigm shift in the measurement of disability by explicitly recognizing the role of contextual factors in the incapacitation process and placing all health conditions on an equal footing. Hence, stakeholders in disability research and practice in LMICs need to prioritize the ICF over other disablement models.
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Article type: Reviews | Subject: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Received: 2021/03/5 | Accepted: 2021/08/4 | Published: 2021/09/1

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