Using the ICF in transition research and practice? Lessons from a scoping review
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BACKGROUND: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and subsequent ICF-CY (child and youth version) recognize the importance of personal and environmental factors in facilitating holistic transition planning and service delivery for youth with chronic health conditions (YCHC). AIMS: The objective of this scoping review is to investigate the degree to which the ICF and ICF-CY have been used in transition research and practice since its initial publication. METHODS: Arksey and O'Malley's five-stage methodological framework guided the scoping review using the following databases: AMED, CINAHL, EMBASE, HealthSTAR, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. Keywords included: 'ICF', 'ICF-CY', and 'transition', which were adapted to each database. RESULTS: 25 articles met final inclusion. Two key themes emerged regarding use of the ICF: 1) the ICF enhances transdisciplinary processes to inform transition planning and interventions; and 2) the ICF facilitates comprehensive and developmentally appropriate transition services over a youth's lifecourse. The strengths and limitations of the ICF in guiding the planning and delivery of transition services are discussed. Some limitations include the large number of items inherent within the ICF and a lack of clarity between the components of activity and participation. CONCLUSION: Key recommendations include: i) further explanation and development of items for quality of life and well-being, personal factors, and psychological issues; and ii) additional research to advance knowledge towards developing empirically- based evidence for the application of the ICF in clinical practice to facilitate transition.
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