Towards a paradigm shift in occupational health: the potential of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) for preventive practice, research & education

Catharina (Carin) Petronella Maria de Brouwer

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Demographic developments and the structure of our pension system is forcing us to work longer. Nurturing and maintaining the health of the working population calls for a proactive approach by professionals in the field of work and health. This development also requires a paradigm shift among professionals, which will have consequences for academic curricula. This dissertation examines the potential role of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in this paradigm shift. The ICF provides a language and paradigm framework that focuses on health and functioning. Future professionals are being trained in ICF within the context of an exemplary practical example (screening for future long-term absences using the Balansmeter, followed by early intervention by a company doctor) and within an academic curriculum (Master of Work, Health and Career at Maastricht University). ICF appears to be a promising way to prevent long-term absence and may contribute to a paradigm shift in academic curricula, practical implementation and research on work and health.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Kant, Ijmert, Supervisor
  • Widdershoven, G.A.M., Supervisor
  • van Amelsvoort, Ludo, Co-Supervisor
Award date22 Feb 2018
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789492679307
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • sustainable employability
  • ICF
  • work and health
  • professionals
  • curricula

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