Process of validating the ICF-CS for schizophrenia

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) was developed by the WHO in 2001 with the aim of establishing a common framework for assessing functioning and disability in different countries and cultures. The ICF is based on a biopsychosocial model and contains over 1400 categories for describing functioning and disability in any health condition. However, in order to make it easier to use in clinical practice, as well as in other non-clinical contexts, a number of Core Sets of categories have been developed for the assessment of functioning in specific health conditions, including - in the field of mental health - depression and bipolar disorder.

It was in this context that, in 2013, the University of Barcelona, in collaboration with the ICF Research Branch, began to develop the ICF Core Set (ICF-CS) for schizophrenia. Following four preparatory pieces of research (systematic review of the literature, worldwide survey of experts, multicentre studies involving health professionals and qualitative studies) an international consensus conference was held (Barcelona, 12-14 May 2015) in which experts from across the world reached a decision regarding the categories that should be included in the first version of the ICF-CS for schizophrenia. The experts included 97 categories in the extended version and 25 categories in the brief version of the ICF-CS. Both these versions are available for download via the following link.

Having developed the first version of the ICF-CS for schizophrenia, our task now is to provide evidence of its transcultural validity in the different WHO regions (Africa, Americas, SouthEast Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific). This will be done through the following studies:

-          Delphi studies

-          Focus groups

-          Multicentre studies

If you are a health professional and are interested in contributing to the process of validating the ICF-CS for schizophrenia, please click on the following link.