Compiling standardized information from clinical practice: using content analysis and ICF Linking Rules in a goal-oriented youth rehabilitation program

  • Purpose: To illustrate how routinely written narrative admission and discharge reports of a rehabilitation program for eight youths with chronic neurological health conditions can be transformed to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Methods: First, a qualitative content analysis was conducted by building meaningful units with text segments assigned of the reports to the five elements of the Rehab-Cycle®: goal; assessment; assignment; intervention; evaluation. Second, the meaningful units were then linked to the ICF using the refined ICF Linking Rules. Results: With the first step of transformation, the emphasis of the narrative reports changed to a process oriented interdisciplinary layout, revealing three thematic blocks of goals: mobility, self-care, mental, and social functions. The linked 95 unique ICF codes could be grouped in clinically meaningful goal-centered ICF codes. Between the two independent linkers, the agreement rate was improved after complementing the rules with additional agreements. Conclusions: The ICF Linking Rules can be used to compile standardized health information from narrative reports if prior structured. The process requires time and expertise. To implement the ICF into common practice, the findings provide the starting point for reporting rehabilitation that builds upon existing practice and adheres to international standards. Implications for Rehabilitation This study provides evidence that routinely collected health information from rehabilitation practice can be transformed to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health by using the “ICF Linking Rules”, however, this requires time and expertise. The Rehab-Cycle®, including assessments, assignments, goal setting, interventions and goal evaluation, serves as feasible framework for structuring this rehabilitation program and ensures that the complexity of local practice is appropriately reflected. The refined “ICF Linking Rules” lead to a standardized transformation process of narrative text and thus a higher quality with increased transparency. As a next step, the resulting format of goal codes supplemented by goal-clarifying codes could be validated to strengthen the implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health into rehabilitation routine by respecting the variety of clinical practice.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Search Google Scholar
Author:N. Lustenberger, Birgit Prodinger, D. Dorjbal, S. Rubinelli, K. Schmitt, A. Scheel-Sailer
Parent Title (English):Disability and Rehabilitation
Document Type:Article (peer reviewed)
Publication Year:2019
Tag:Cerebral palsy; Quality of health care; Rehab-Cycle; Spina bifida (myelomeningocele, MMC); Spinal curd injury
First Page:613
Last Page:621
Peer reviewed:Ja
faculties / departments:Fakultät für Angewandte Gesundheits- und Sozialwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit