ICF Core Set for vocational rehabilitation: Results of an international consensus conference

Monika E. Finger, Reuben Escorpizo, Andrea Gälssel, Hans Peter Gmünder, Miriam Lückenkemper, Che Hin Chan, Julie Fritz, Urban Studer, Jan Ekholm, Nenad Kostanjsek, Gerold Stucki, Alarcos Cieza

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs aim to facilitate work participation. However, there is no universal framework to describe the functioning of individuals who participate in VR. The objective of this paper is to report on the Core Set for VR based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Organization (WHO). Methods: A formal decision-making and consensus-based process was conducted based on the evidence from four preparatory studies. Twenty-three international experts chosen by WHO Region and expertise in VR attended the consensus conference. Results: Ninety ICF categories were included in the comprehensive Core Set (activities and participation=40, environmental factors=33, body functions= 17), while the brief Core Set included 13 second-level categories (activities and participation=6, environmental factors=4, body functions= 3). Conclusions: The expert opinion and evidence-based Core Set could serve as an international standard for what to measure and report concerning functioning of individuals in VR. The Core Set could also provide a common language among clinicians, researchers, insurers, and policymakers in the implementation of successful VR. Further testing and validation studies are encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2012


  • Classification
  • Employment
  • ICF
  • ICF Core Set
  • Return-to-work
  • Vocational rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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