The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework for describing and organizing information on functioning and disability.

A workshop was conducted by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) at Sancheti Hospital & Medical College to promote the use of ICF in Tertiary Care Hospital & Medical College (both Govt. & Private Hospital).


L to R: Shri. Nitin Milan, Shri. Atul Shrivastava, Dr. Madhav Borate, Shri. Anujum Uddin, Shri. Srimant Kumar & Dr. P. Bokil

The guests for this workshop were Shri. Srimant Kumar (ISS, Deputy Director, CBHI, DGHS, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare), Shri. Atul Shrivastava (Co-Principal & Investigator, Gandhi Medical College, Advisor to Govt. of India), Shri. Nitin Milan & Shri. Anujum Uddin (JSO)

Dr. Madhav Borate (Medical Superintendent & Head of Academics, Sancheti Institute) welcomed all the dignitaries.
Lecture on ICF was given by Shri. Atul Shrivastava (Co-Principal & Investigator, Gandhi Medical College, Advisor to Govt. of India). He very well explained the Aim, Use & Benefits of ICF coding

ICF belongs to the “family” of international classifications developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for application to various aspects of health. The WHO family of international classifications provides a framework to code a wide range of information about health (e.g. diagnosis, functioning and disability, reasons for contact with health services) and uses a standardized common language permitting communication about health and health care across the world in various disciplines and sciences.

Functioning and disability associated with health conditions are classified in ICF.

ICD-10 provides a “diagnosis” of diseases, disorders or other health conditions, and this information is enriched by the additional information given by ICF on functioning together, information on diagnosis plus functioning provides a broader and more meaningful picture of the health of people or population, which can then be used for decision-making purposes.

There is a widely held misunderstanding that ICF is only about people with disabilities; in fact, it is about all people. The health and health-related states associated with all health conditions can be described using ICF. In other words, ICF has universal application.9

ICF provides a description of situations with regard to human functioning and its restrictions and serves as a framework to organize this information. It structures the information in a meaningful, interrelated and easily accessible way.


Aims of the ICF classification

A unified and standard language and framework for the description of health and health-related states. It defines components of health and some health-related components of well-being (such as education and labour).

The domains contained in ICF can, therefore, be seen as health domains and health-related domains. These domains are described from the perspective of the body, the individual and society in two basic lists:

  1. Body Functions and Structures
  2. Activities and Participation.

The aims of the ICF (WHO 2001:5) are to:

  • provide a scientific basis for understanding and studying health and health-related states, outcomes, determinants, and changes in health status and functioning;
  • establish a common language for describing health and health-related states in order to improve communication between different users, such as health care workers, researchers, policy-makers and the public, including people with disabilities;
  • permit comparison of data across countries, health care disciplines, services and time
  • provide a systematic coding scheme for health information systems.

ICF enables the user to record useful profiles of individuals’ functioning, disability and health in various domains.

As a classification,
ICF systematically groups different domains for a person in a given health condition (e.g. what a person with a disease or disorder does do or can do).

Functioning is an umbrella term encompassing all body functions, activities and participation; similarly,

Disability serves as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations or participation restrictions.

Shri. Srimant Kumar

The Importance of the ICF coding was emphasized on by Shri. Srimant Kumar (ISS, Deputy Director, CBHI, DGHS, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare). Hospitals are still lacking in implementing the ICF coding. The statistics will give real data of functioning, disability and Health of Indian Healthcare.

Shri. Atul Shrivastava

The workshop concluded with vote of thanks given by Dr. P. Bokil (Principal of PGDH College, Sancheti Healthcare Academy). The workshop on ICF was enlightening and it imparted a clear understanding that ICF will definitely play an important role to improve Healthcare practices world-wide.

Shri. Nitin Milan
Shri. Anujum Uddin
My sincere thanks to the members of Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI), Shri. Atul Shrivastava & Shri. Srimant Kumar for sharing their knowledge and expertise and Shri. Nitin Milan & Shri. Anujum Uddin (JSO) for having conducted this workshop at Sancheti Hospital.

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