ICF Core Sets for acute and post-acute settings

In 2003, Comprehensive ICF Core Sets were developed for the condition groups - cardiopulmonary, neurological and musculoskeletal conditions for acute and post-acute settings.
As with the condition-specific ICF Core Sets, the development process involved conducting preparatory studies and a consensus conference of experts. The preparatory studies included:

  • a systematic literature review to examine what is covered by standardized outcome measures on these condition groups
  • a cross-sectional study to reflect the patients perspective as well as to see what frequently occurs in clinical practice in treating persons experiencing cardiopulmonary, neurological or musculoskeletal conditions
  • and focus groups to gather informaton what health professionals see as relevant when treating patiens or clients with these health conditions

The development process and results of the 1st version of the ICF Core Sets for cardiopulmonary, neurological and musculoskeletal conditions for acute and post-acute settings were published in a special issue in Disability and Rehabilitation in April 2005. Click here to access the astracts.

In subsequent studies these Comprehensive ICF Core Sets for the acute and post-acute settings were validated and in a second step brief versions of were established. The results of these studies were published in a special issue in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine in January 2011. Click here to access the abstracts.

Both the Comprehensive and Brief ICF Core Sets for cardiopulmonary, neurological and musculoskeletal conditions for acute and post-acute settings can be downloaded here.

Where and who can use these ICF Core Sets?
The Acute ICF Core Sets for patients/clients with neurological, musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary conditions are intended for use by physicians, nurses, therapists and other health professionals working in the acute hospital on medical, surgical or other units not specialised in rehabilitation. The Post-acute ICF Core Sets for geriatric patients and patients/clients with neurological, musculoskeletal or cardiopulmonary conditions are intended for use by physicians, nurses, therapists and other health professionals involved in early post-acute rehabilitation.

For more information, feel free to contact Prof. Eva Grill at or Melissa Selb at .

ICF Generic and Rehabilitation Sets

Unlike the approach used in developing the other ICF Core Sets, the ICF Generic Set (sometimes called Minimal Generic Set) was developed from a psychometrics study. The ICF Generic Set is composed of seven 2nd level categories (click here) from the ICF components Body Functions and Activities and Participation which have been statistically determined to be the generally applicable across health conditions and contexts. As such, the ICF Generic Set can be used for a very brief description of functioning. Because of its general applicability, it is strongly recommended that the ICF categories from the ICF Generic Set should be included every time an ICF Core Set, Brief or Comprehensive is used. This will ensure the data collected in a clinical setting for assessment purposes has the widest applicability for other purposes, including health statistics, health services planning and research. To see the publication on the development of the ICF Generic Set click here.

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ICF Core Sets for Vocational Rehabilitation

The impact of accidents, injuries, and health conditions that prevent workers from engaging in employment is a major issue in the area of work disability. Vocational rehabilitation (VR) aim to facilitate return-to-work process but there is no universal description of functioning for patients who participate in VR. To tackle this issue, the Swiss Accident/Injury Insurance (SUVA) funded a project to develop an ICF-based Core Set to describe the functioning and health of individuals who participate in multidisciplinary VR. The project was a collaborative effort between the ICF Research Branch, World Health Organisation (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), and the International Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ISPRM). A Local Advisory Group made up of individuals from the study centres and a patient advocacy group contributed greatly to the success of the project.

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