The role of the �International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, ICF� in the description and classification of mental disorders

Baron, Stefanie; Linden, Michael
November 2008
European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience;Nov2008 Supplement 5, Vol. 258, p81
Academic Journal
Diagnoses according to ICD-10 or DSM are conclusions derived from diagnostic algorithms, based on symptoms, but also illness course, history and consequences of the illness state. But, there is only limited consensus about the definitions of the criteria which are the basis of diagnostic algorithms. In DSM there is only a small glossary of technical terms, while ICD does not provide any respective definitions at all. When the diagnostic criteria are unreliable or unvalid, then also the diagnostic conclusions must be invalid, even when they are based on strict algorithms. Therefore, standardized definitions for diagnostic criteria are as important as standardized diagnostic algorithms. The ICF, published by WHO in 2001, defines in it's first chapter mental functions which are identical with descriptions of psychopathological terms, if there is a malfunctioning. As definitions of diagnostic criteria are missing in ICD or DSM, the ICF definitions for functions, and thus disorders of functions, are at present the only glossary of illness signs and symptoms. Therefore, the ICF can serve as the basis for diagnostic algorithms in ICD or DSM. Furthermore, illness definitions are, apart from symptoms, also based on illness consequences. These are also defined in ICF as capacities (or disorders of capacity) and participation. Disorders of functions, capacity and participation together can describe targets of treatment. In summary, ICD and ICF as members of the family of WHO classification systems can together provide a common language for the description of health, illness and treatment goals.


Related Articles

  • The prevalence of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders among 7–10 year old Yemeni schoolchildren. Alyahri, Abdullah; Goodman, Robert // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Mar2008, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p224 

    The planning of child mental health services should be based on recent high-quality data on the prevalence and type of mental health disorders, and yet such data are not available in Yemen and many other Arab countries. Representative samples of Yemeni 7–10 year olds ( n = 1,210) were...

  • Perceived Need for Mental Health Treatment in a Nationally Representative Canadian Sample. Sareen, Jitender; Cox, Brian J.; Afifi, Tracie O.; Clara, Ian; Yu, Bo Nancy // Canadian Journal of Psychiatry;Sep2005, Vol. 50 Issue 10, p643 

    Objective: The optimal method of determining how many people in the general population need help for emotional problems remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the prevalence and correlates of self-perceived need for mental health services (that is, help seeking and perceived need) in a...

  • The PHQ-9. Kroenke, Kurt; Spitzer, Robert L.; Williams, Janet B. W. // JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine;Sep2001, Vol. 16 Issue 9, p606 

    OBJECTIVE: While considerable attention has focused on improving the detection of depression, assessment of severity is also important in guiding treatment decisions. Therefore, we examined the validity of a brief, new measure of depression severity. MEASUREMENTS: The Patient Health...

  • Multimorbidity of psychiatric disorders as an indicator of clinical severity. Angst, Jules; Sellaro, Robert; Ries Merikangas, Kathleen // European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience;2002, Vol. 252 Issue 4, p147 

    The present study examines the clinical and research significance of the high frequency of multiple diagnoses emanating from the non-hierarchical descriptive approach to classification in the current psychiatric diagnostic systems. Data from a 15-year prospective cohort study of young adults...

  • From categorical to dimensional diagnostics. Musalek, Michael; Scheibenbogen, Oliver // European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience;Nov2008 Supplement 5, Vol. 258, p18 

    The problem of inhomogeneous categories and the difficulty of drawing boundaries as well as individual progression of the severity of psychopathologic phenomena necessitate a change of paradigm from categorical to dimensional diagnostics. Not only pathogenetic factors but also disorder...

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Indicators Among Homeless Youth in Denver, Colorado. Merscham, Carrie; Van Leeuwen, James M.; McGuire, Megan // Child Welfare;Mar/Apr2009, Vol. 88 Issue 2, p93 

    We report the results of mental health evaluations from 182 homeless youth residing in a Denver, Colorado, shelter. The literature on homeless youth, although developing, is still somewhat limited as it relates to mental health, substance abuse, and trauma. This study was motivated by clinically...

  • The Temporality of “Chronic” Mental Illness. Von Peter, Sebastian // Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry;Mar2010, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p13 

    Although multiple concepts of time can be found in psychiatric discourses and practices, the notion of time as an absolute category seems to predominate. In particular, the notion of “chronicity” implies the persistence of symptoms over the temporal course of a disease, thereby...

  • Qualities of life, educational level and human development: an international investigation of health. Skevington, Suzanne M. // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Oct2010, Vol. 45 Issue 10, p999 

    Introduction and methods: This study investigated the relationship between health-related quality of life (QoL), educational level and culture, using a high quality cross-cultural generic measure (WHOQOL-BREF) containing 25 international dimensions organised in physical, psychological, social...

  • 'UNLESS HE IS A DANGER'. Wakefield, Georgina // Community Care;9/15/2005, Issue 1590, p24 

    Presents an article about a mother who had difficulties convincing health professionals of her son's mental health problems. Circumstance in which the mother knew that something was terribly wrong with her son; Occasions in which the son was a danger to himself; Belief of the doctor that the...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics