Exploring ICF components in a survey among Xhosa speakers in Eastern & Western Cape, South Africa Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To contribute to the testing and development of the ICF model by exploring the relationship between activity limitations, participation restrictions and environmental barriers. METHOD: Structured questionnaire-based interviews were carried out among a convenience sample of 950 households counting 4917 individuals in Eastern and Western Cape, South Africa. Approximately half of the households had at least one individual with disability, while the other half represented controls in the study. Activity limitations, participation restrictions and environmental barriers were operationalized by means of questions drawn directly from the ICF checklist. RESULTS: Principal component analyses supported a four-component solution for the activity and participation variables, and a two-component solution for the barrier variables. Scales for each sub-component were produced by adding the individual items under each sub-component. Male respondents are more restricted than females when it comes to social activities, individual care, education and mobility barriers. While respondents in Western Cape scored higher (more limitations and restrictions) on the activity and participation sub-scales individual care, daily activities and education, Eastern Cape respondents scored higher on both the environmental barrier sub-scales. CONCLUSIONS: A viable structure of sub-components under the broader ICF concepts has been demonstrated. The study has provided some support to viewing activity limitations and participation restrictions as two independent dimensions, but also invites further studies and refinement of the model.


  • Eide, Arne H
  • Jelsma, Jennifer
  • Loeb, Mark
  • Maart, Soraya
  • Toni, Mzolisi Ka

publication date

  • January 2008