Working with the ICF model

The WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework has been well-known in physiotherapy for many years. It is a helpful tool that can guide clinicians thoughts during the assessment, participatory goalsetting and treatment planning process. While physiotherapists have traditionally focussed predominantly on body structure and function, as well as activity, it is maybe, particularly the ICF’s participation and the manifold environmental factors it considers that lend themselves to using the ICF in a sense that allows for the integration of planetary health, environmental and sustainability concerns. 

Relevant publications

WHO (2001). International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Geneva, Switzerland.


Day, A. M. B., Theurer, J. A., Dykstra, A. D., & Doyle, P. C. (2012). Nature and the natural environment as health facilitators: the need to reconceptualize the ICF environmental factors. Disability and Rehabilitation34(26), 2281–2290.

Richter, R., & Maric, F. (2022). Ecological Bodies and Relational Anatomies: Toward a Transversal Foundation for Planetary Health Education. Challenges13(2), 39. 


Header image by Pau Casals on Unsplash 


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