Let’s take a moment to look at the overall representation of the ICF. As you can see from the above diagram, all of the domains interact with one another. The International Classification of Functioning is composed of these domains:
- IMPAIRMENTS: (At the level of the body)
- Body functions are physiological and psychological functions of the body.
- Body structures are the anatomic parts of the body.
- ACTIVITIES: (At the level of the individual) This refers to the execution of tasks or actions by individual.
- PARTICIPATION: (At the level of family and society) This is involvement in a life situation.
- ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: (Facilitators and inhibitors) These are the physical, social and attitudinal situations in which people live.
- PERSONAL FACTORS: (Facilitators and inhibitors) These are the particular background of individuals’ life and living situation and comprise features that are not part of a health condition.
- Keep in mind that the ICF classifies functioning not the individual.
- Each level describes function and also functional limitation (disability) to give a broad picture and a more neutral tone.
- The health condition is the ICD-10 diagnosis and complements the ICF but is not officially part of the ICF.
From the WHO’s Beginner’s Guide (Above link):
The ICF is named as it is because of its stress is on health and functioning , ratherthan on disability. Previously, disability began where health ended; once youwere disabled, you were in a separate category. We want to get away from thiskind of thinking. We want to make ICF a tool for measuring functioning insociety, no matter what the reason for one’s impairments. So it becomes a muchmore versatile tool with a much broader area of use than a traditionalclassification of health and disability.This is a radical shift. From emphasizing people’s disabilities, we now focus ontheir level of health.ICF puts the notions of ‘health’ and ‘disability’ in a new light. It acknowledgesthat every human being can experience a decrease in health and therebyexperience some disability. This is not something that happens to only a minorityof humanity. ICF thus ‘mainstreams’ the experience of disability and recognizesit as a universal human experience. By shifting the focus from cause to impact itplaces all health conditions on an equal footing allowing them to be comparedusing a common metric – the ruler of health and disability.