An examination of concepts in vocational rehabilitation that could not be linked to the ICF based on an analysis of secondary data

Monika Finger*, Robert de Bie, Melissa Selb, Reuben Escorpizo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


BACKGROUND: In the last few years the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has become a widely known and useful reference classification in vocational rehabilitation. It would be equally important to know which aspects of work-related health information cannot be assigned to distinct ICF categories. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to examine the concepts derived from three studies conducted within the ICF Core Set for vocational rehabilitation project, which could not be linked to distinct ICF codes in order to complement the current understanding of functioning in vocational rehabilitation. METHODS: Secondary data analysis of the concepts from the systematic literature review, expert survey and patient focus group study of the ICF Core Set for vocational rehabilitation project that were marked as nd = not definable, nc = not covered or pf = personal factor. Nd-concepts were assigned to the biopsychosocial model of the ICF; additional ICF categories were formulated where needed. Nc-concepts were grouped into common themes not covered by the ICF. Pf-categories were linked to a proposed personal factors classification. RESULTS: 1093 nd-concepts were matched to overarching terms in the ICF, and "other specified"-categories were detailed. 1924 pf-concepts were linked to 31 second level categories of a proposed personal factors classification. 441 nc-concepts were grouped into six themes including the concept of well-being and attributes related to processes and time. CONCLUSIONS: With concepts that emerged from the secondary analysis of data gathered during the vocational rehabilitation ICF Core Set project, we have enriched the ICF model with constructs specific to vocational rehabilitation. However, additional research is needed to further explore personal factors specific to vocational rehabilitation. The influence of themes complementary to the ICF such as well-being and quality of life on return-to-work should be further investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-792
JournalWORK-A Journal of Prevention Assessment & Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • International Classification of Functioning
  • disability and health
  • content validity
  • vocational rehabilitation
  • return-to-work
  • personal factors
  • environmental factors

Cite this