Content comparison of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) instruments based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

ICF Research Branch, WHO FIC Collaborating Center (DIMDI), IMBK, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.
Quality of Life Research (Impact Factor: 2.49). 07/2005; 14(5):1225-37. DOI: 10.1007/s11136-004-4773-0
Source: PubMed


The increasing recognition of the patient perspective and, more specifically, functioning and health, has led to an impressive effort in research to develop concepts and instruments to measure them. Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) and the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) represent two different perspectives from which to look at functioning and health. Therefore, it is expected that both will often be used concurrently in clinical practice, research and health reporting. The objective of our study was to examine the relationship between six HRQOL instruments (the SF-36, the NHP, the QL-I, the WHOQOL-BREF, the WHODASII and the EQ-5D) and the ICF. All six HRQOL instruments were linked to the ICF separately by two trained health professionals according to ten linking rules developed specifically for this purpose. The degree of agreement between health professionals was calculated by means of the kappa statistic. Bootstrapped confidence intervals were calculated. In the 148 items of the 6 instruments a total of 226 concepts were identified and linked to the ICF. The estimated kappa coefficients range between 0.82 and 0.98. The concepts contained in the items of the HRQOL instruments were linked to 91 different ICF categories, 17 categories of the component body functions, 60 categories of the component activities and participation, and 14 categories of the component environmental factors. Twelve concepts could not be linked to the ICF at all. In the component body functions, only emotional functions are covered by all examined instruments. In the component activities and participation, all instruments cover aspects of work, but the half of them scarcely cover aspects of mobility. Only four of the six instruments address environmental factors. The ICF proved highly useful for the comparison of HRQOL instruments. The comparison of selected HRQOL instruments may provide clinicians and researchers with new insights when selecting health-status measures for clinical studies.

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    • "According to WHO’s definition ICF categories are “mutually exclusive, i.e. no two categories at the same level share exactly the same attributes” (p. 211; [30]), and organized in a hierarchic structure with up to four levels. However, the mutual exclusivity assumption of some ICF categories is now under discussion [34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Visual impairment is associated with important limitations in functioning. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) adopted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) relies on a globally accepted framework for classifying problems in functioning and the influence of contextual factors. Its comprehensive perspective, including biological, individual and social aspects of health, enables the ICF to describe the whole health experience of persons with visual impairment. The objectives of this study are (1) to analyze whether the ICF can be used to comprehensively describe the problems in functioning of persons with visual impairment and the environmental factors that influence their lives and (2) to select the ICF categories that best capture self-perceived health of persons with visual impairment. Methods Data from 105 persons with visual impairment were collected, including socio-demographic data, vision-related data, the Extended ICF Checklist and the visual analogue scale of the EuroQoL-5D, to assess self-perceived health. Descriptive statistics and a Group Lasso regression were performed. The main outcome measures were functioning defined as impairments in Body functions and Body structures, limitations in Activities and restrictions in Participation, influencing Environmental factors and self-perceived health. Results In total, 120 ICF categories covering a broad range of Body functions, Body structures, aspects of Activities and Participation and Environmental factors were identified. Thirteen ICF categories that best capture self-perceived health were selected based on the Group Lasso regression. While Activities-and-Participation categories were selected most frequently, the greatest impact on self-perceived health was found in Body-functions categories. The ICF can be used as a framework to comprehensively describe the problems of persons with visual impairment and the Environmental factors which influence their lives. Conclusions There are plenty of ICF categories, Environmental-factors categories in particular, which are relevant to persons with visual impairment, but have hardly ever been taken into consideration in literature and visual impairment-specific patient-reported outcome measures.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
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    • "Because it is a complex term that involves different contexts, the WHO developed the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)9). Since quality of life questionnaires and the ICF represent two different perspectives regarding functionality and health, they are expected to be used simultaneously both in clinical practice10). "
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    ABSTRACT: [Purpose] The aim of this study was to evaluate the functionality of women diagnosed with breast cancer according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). [Subjects and Methods] This was a cross-sectional study. We applied instruments consistent with the summary of ICF codes for breast cancer: quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL), upper limb symptoms and function (DASH), social support, physical examination and functional medical record data. [Results] The study included 105 women who were 55 years old and subjected to surgical treatment within an average of 1.63 year previously. The 'function' component considered in the WHOQOL, the DASH and physical examination. There were high prevalences of positive responses for most codes, and only b130, d430, d445, d640, d650, d920 and codes of environmental factors considered by the Social Support Questionnaire showed high prevalences of negative responses (47.6%, 61%, 43.8%, 63.8%, 56.2%, 52.4%, and 35.2%, respectively). [Conclusion] There was a lower prevalence of disability, with the exception of issues related to strenuous activity and load. Some findings showed conflicting results between different instruments that measure the same code, and studies that propose more accurate tools and are able to consider the ICF codes specific to this pathology are necessary.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Physical Therapy Science
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    • "The questions in 1) and 2) were linked to the ICF using the same rules as for the GHS and NHANES. The questions in 3) had already been linked to the ICF [25]. For 3) and 4) we used the 50% cut-off (3 out of 6 health-status measures and 11 out of 22 ICF Core Sets). "
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    ABSTRACT: The World Health Organization (WHO) has argued that functioning, and, more concretely, functioning domains constitute the operationalization that best captures our intuitive notion of health. Functioning is, therefore, a major public-health goal. A great deal of data about functioning is already available. Nonetheless, it is not possible to compare and optimally utilize this information. One potential approach to address this challenge is to propose a generic and minimal set of functioning domains that captures the experience of individuals and populations with respect to functioning and health. The objective of this investigation was to identify a minimal generic set of ICF domains suitable for describing functioning in adults at both the individual and population levels. We performed a psychometric study using data from: 1) the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998, 2) the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007/2008, and 3) the ICF Core Set studies. Random Forests and Group Lasso regression were applied using one self-reported general-health question as a dependent variable. The domains selected were compared to those of the World Health Survey (WHS) developed by the WHO. Seven domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) are proposed as a minimal generic set of functioning and health: energy and drive functions, emotional functions, sensation of pain, carrying out daily routine, walking, moving around, and remunerative employment. The WHS domains of self-care, cognition, interpersonal activities, and vision were not included in our selection. The minimal generic set proposed in this study is the starting point to address one of the most important challenges in health measurement - the comparability of data across studies and countries. It also represents the first step in developing a common metric of health to link information from the general population to information about sub-populations, such as clinical and institutionalized populations.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · BMC Public Health
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