The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) offers a comprehensive and universally-accepted framework to describe functioning, disability and health in persons with all kinds of diseases or conditions. The ICF, a classification that is exhaustive by its very nature, is quite complex for use in daily practice. In daily practice, clinicians and other professionals need only a fraction of the categories found in the ICF. With this need in mind, WHO created a series of instruments based on the ICF, like the ICF Checklist and the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHO-DAS II). However, the generic character of the ICF Checklist and the WHO-DAS II may be a drawback in specialty settings. On one hand a common base is needed to compare with other health conditions and interventions; on the other hand we need "variability" to capture the detail to describe the profile of a unique group. This obvious requirement for specialised clinical settings was the primary motivation for WHO in collaboration with the ICF Research Branch to develop the the rigorous scientific process which results in the Comprehensive and Brief ICF Core Sets.
To complement the health condition-specific ICF Core Sets and the ICF Core Set for vocational rehabiiltation, two sets of ICF categories called ICF Generic Set and Rehabilitation Set were developed. For more information, see the section on the ICF Generic and Rehabilitation Sets.
The ICF Core Set Development Process
The process of developing ICF ICF Core Sets based is described in detail in the publication by Selb et al. (2014). See abstract by clicking here.