Chronic ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is predicted to become the leading cause of global disability-adjusted life years and the major contributor to the burden of disease worldwide by 2020. Current recommendations for the treatment of chronic ischemic heart disease focus on increasing the "quantity" of life (i.e. prevent myocardial infarction and death) and improving the quality of life (by reducing symptoms related to angina/ischemia). The importance of systematically assessing symptoms and functional limitations to optimize the management of chronic ischemic heart disease has led to the development and use of a number of condition-specific health status measures. Recently the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association reviewed the use and the properties of currently available health-status measures for patients with chronic ischemic heart disease.
However, none of these organizations has made recommendations regarding the use of specific health-status measures or provided a systematic framework to cover the spectrum of symptoms and limitations in functioning of patients with chronic ischemic heart disease. To tackle this issue, the ICF Research Branch and the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the scientific support of University Hospital of Berne (Switzerland), University Hospital Elias (Romania), Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Spital (Austria), Ludwig-Maximilian University (Germany) and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (USA), initiated a project to develop internationally-accepted and evidence-based ICF Core Sets for chronic ischemic heart disease. This project was part of a larger project examining 12 chronic conditions with a high burden of disease.
The preparatory phase included a systematic literature review, a Delphi exercise and an empirical data collection using the ICF checklist:
An international ICF consensus conference took place from 30 May - 2 June 2003 at a quiet monastery situated in a pleasant landscape far from any city and distractions. The aim of the conference was to establish the Comprehensive and Brief ICF Core Sets for patients with chronic ischemic heart disease. Sixteen experts (physicians in various sub-specialities, physiotherapists, epidemiologists) from 7 different countries decided which ICF categories are to be included in the ICF Core Sets for chronic ischemic heart disease following a formal, decision-making and consensus process which integrated the results from the 3 preparatory studies.
61 ICF categories were selected for inclusion in the Comprehensive ICF Core for chronic ischemic heart disease. These categories can be taken into account when conducting a comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment. Out of the 61 Comprehensive ICF Core Set categories, 36 ICF categories were selected as categories for the Brief ICF Core for chronic ischemic heart disease. The Brief ICF Core Set can be used in assessing patients participating in a clinical study on chronic ischemic heart disease.
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