Use of the ICF for Guiding Patient-Reported Outcome Measures The World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) has been adopted by most professional organizations that are concerned with the rehabilitation process, including by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This article discusses how it can be applied to the growing recognition of patient-reported outcomes (PROs). PROs ... Article
Article  |   December 2012
Use of the ICF for Guiding Patient-Reported Outcome Measures
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Travis T. Threats
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
  • Author
    Author×
    Travis Threats is professor and chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Saint Louis University. His primary scholarly work has been with the WHO's ICF. He has been ASHA's representative liaison to the WHO since 1999 and was instrumental the development of the ICF. He has published and presented extensively on the ICF, evidence-based practice, and rehabilitation health care ethics. He is an ASHA Fellow and was awarded the 2012 Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement.
    Travis Threats is professor and chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Saint Louis University. His primary scholarly work has been with the WHO's ICF. He has been ASHA's representative liaison to the WHO since 1999 and was instrumental the development of the ICF. He has published and presented extensively on the ICF, evidence-based practice, and rehabilitation health care ethics. He is an ASHA Fellow and was awarded the 2012 Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement.×
  • Disclosure: Travis T. Threats is ASHA's representative liaison to the World Health Organization (WHO; 1999–current) and participated in the development of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), discussed in this article. He is the senior consultant for the American Psychological Association and the WHO in the development of the Procedural Manual and Guide for the Standardized Application of the ICF: A Manual for Health Professionals, which will be published in 2013. In addition, Threats currently is the co-principal investigator on a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Defense for development of a software program to use the ICF for documenting and tracking the functional abilities of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have sustained TBIs.
    Disclosure: Travis T. Threats is ASHA's representative liaison to the World Health Organization (WHO; 1999–current) and participated in the development of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), discussed in this article. He is the senior consultant for the American Psychological Association and the WHO in the development of the Procedural Manual and Guide for the Standardized Application of the ICF: A Manual for Health Professionals, which will be published in 2013. In addition, Threats currently is the co-principal investigator on a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Defense for development of a software program to use the ICF for documenting and tracking the functional abilities of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have sustained TBIs.×
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Articles
Article   |   December 2012
Use of the ICF for Guiding Patient-Reported Outcome Measures
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2012, Vol. 22, 128-135. doi:10.1044/nnsld22.4.128
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2012, Vol. 22, 128-135. doi:10.1044/nnsld22.4.128

The World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) has been adopted by most professional organizations that are concerned with the rehabilitation process, including by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This article discusses how it can be applied to the growing recognition of patient-reported outcomes (PROs). PROs are those outcomes reported directly by the patient concerning their overall functioning and sense of wellbeing. Although the proponents of the ICF and PROs have similar goals in improving the health-related quality of life of the persons with functional health problems, they offer different but complementary components to this common goal. In this article, the author discusses how the ICF's philosophy, structure, and classification system can be useful for guiding the development, use, and interpretation of PROs.

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