Purpose of the study

The purpose is to evaluate the challenges and facilitating factors related to the use of the ICF and create methods to ease ICF implementation.

Implementation of the study

The study is implemented in co-operation with partners between 1 August 2012 and 31 March 2014. The partners involved are the Kankaanpää, Käpylä and Peurunka rehabilitation centres, the School of Health and Social Studies of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä.
The study is funded by Kela, the Finnish Association of Physiotherapists and the Finnish Association of Occupational Therapists. In addition, JAMK and THL contribute to the funding of the project.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) belongs to the international classifications developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). In Finland, its use is recommended by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) standards and the development project on rehabilitation services for persons with severe disabilities (VAKE). Increasing the use of ICF is important to ensure that extensive attention is paid to the factors affecting the patient’s functioning at different stages of the rehabilitation process.

Study methods and materials

  • Translation into Finnish of e-learning material in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ICF eLearning Tool (http://icf.ideaday.de/en/index.html) 
  • Piloting the e-learning material in the Kankaanpää, Peurunka and Käpylä rehabilitation centres as well as THL’s Innovillage learning network on disability issues: information about usability
  • Online surveys for employees of three rehabilitation centres treating persons with spinal cord injuries before and after self-learning: experiences of issues such as the use of the ICF and factors facilitating and preventing the implementation transfer process
  • A focused interview with the rehabilitation centres’ multi-professional teams: qualitative information on work community factors related to establishing the practice  
  • Analysis of rehabilitation documents prepared for persons with spinal cord injuries during rehabilitation: information about the visibility of the ICF in clinical work
  • A COPM (Canadian Occupational Performance©) - focused interview and WHODAS 2.0 - survey for persons with spinal cord injuries: information about their functioning and about issues significant to the individual needs. 
  • Evaluation of outcome measures within the ICF frame of reference used in the rehabilitation of persons with spinal cord injuries and supplementation of the spinal cord injury recommendation in the TOIMIA database (www.toimia.fi)

Results and applicability of the study

The e-learning material translated into Finnish will be freely available through the WHO website.

The final report compiled of the component results will be offered for publication in Kela’s publication series. The results and the material developed will be applicable to other diagnosis groups and forms of rehabilitation. The results will benefit patients at the individual level, and rehabilitation centres, service providers, hospitals and educational institutions at the organisational level as well as Kela and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) at the national level.

More information

JAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Health and Social Studies

Puistokatu 35

FI-4200 Jyväskylä Finland

Jaana Paltamaa, Principal Investigator, Planning Specialist, +358 50 536 5459, firstname.lastname@jamk.fi

Pirkko Perttinä, Project Manager, +358 400 989 457, firstname.lastname@jamk.fi

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