ICF-CY International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Children and Youth Version

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

The International Classification of Functioning, Children and Youth (ICF-CY) version is derived from the original ICF framework (2001), used to classify health and health-related domains. Just as in the ICF model, the ICF-CY uses language and terminology in recording problems involving structures of the body, activity limitations and participation restrictions. It further incorporates the environmental factors important for children and youth. It makes use of standardised language to allow for communication between different disciplines, sciences and indeed across the globe.[1]

The need for an adjunct to the main ICF becomes apparent when considering aspects such as:[1]

  • The health manifestations of children and youth differ in nature, intensity and impact when compared to adults.
  • Development in these populations is strongly influenced by environmental factors, physical and social characteristics unique to children and youth.
    • Environmental and social factors include 'the child in the context of the family' and needs to consider the unique involvement of children in life situations - moving from total dependence to dependance.
    • Physical factors include aspects such as developmental delay. With developmental delay, limitations in structure or function may not be permanent or seen to change through the aging and developing process. Severity in the nature of limitations need to take into account the lag or delay in the emergence of structure and functions etc.
  • The need to support the human rights of children and youth in the sphere of heathcare. The ICF-CY model incorporates these human rights as defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN, 2007).

The design of the ICF-CY is specifically made so that children's and adolescents' growth and health is promoted across a spectrum of situations and environments.[1]

The intention of the ICF-CY[1][edit | edit source]

  1. Document characteristics of health and functioning in children and youth.
  2. Provide a conceptual framework, common language and terminology for recording problems manifested across the spectrum, including infancy, childhood and adolescence.

Belonging to the World Health Organisation's Family of International Classification (WHO-FIC), the ICY-CY provides a framework for coding information relating to a wide range of health issues.[1]

Who can use the ICF-CY?[edit | edit source]

It is a classification system that can be used by clinicians, educators, policymakers, family members and researchers, as well as consumers. In fact, this model was created for use by anyone involved in the health, education and well-being of children and youth.[1]

Use of the ICF-CY[edit | edit source]

The ICF-CY is used from birth to 18 years of age.

It can be used in clinical, administrative, surveillance, policy and research. in each of these, the IDF-CY model can be used to record a single problem or creating a profile to define a child's health and functioning difficulties.

A. Clinically it can also be used to provide...

  1. A summary of assessment findings
  2. Clarify diagnostic information
  3. Assistance in planning relevant intervention plans.

B. In administrative areas, information can be recorded using the ICF-CY codes to assist with determining eligibility, service provision, reimbursement and appropriate follow-up.

C. With surveillance programs, codes can be selected "to standardize data collection procedures across instruments and over time in order to document prevalence of conditions, project service needs and service utilization patterns." (pg 19)[1]

D. In policy, the conceptual framework of the ICF-CY allows focus on particular topics.

E. In research, the careful selection of particular ICF-CY codes assists in the standardization of participants, selection of assessment measures and definitions of outcomes.

Comparison of the ICF-CY and ICF[edit | edit source]

As stated above, the ICF-CY is derived from the ICF. Much of it's content is therefore similar to the ICF. It is also important to note that it is therefore compatible with the ICF.[1]

Adaptations to the ICF include further details and addition of content when documenting characteristics of children and youth below the age of 18. This extends through body functions, activities, participation and environments.[1]

Considerations in the use of the ICF-CY[edit | edit source]

The unit of classification in the ICF-CY model is not a diagnosis, but a profile of functioning.[1]

The purpose of the ICF-CY is to describe the nature and severity of the limitation and to identify influencing factors in the environment. [1]

While the ICF-CY can be used in many different contexts and scenarios, application should be constant. Assignment of codes should be based on direct measurements, observations and interviews as well as professional judgments.[1]

In order to use ICF-CY coding it is important to consider all aspects of development. It is further highlighted that accurate coding can only be done when there is a good understanding of functioning in relation to growth and development - being able to differentiate between growth and development which falls into normal ranges, versus those which are atypical. Finally, it is highly encouraged that revision of the guidelines be undertaken, as well as training. [1]

References[edit | edit source]