A Survey of Occupational Therapists in Canada about Their Knowledge and Use of the ICF Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background. The current impact of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) on the field of occupational therapy within Canada is unknown. Purpose. To survey occupational therapists in Canada about their knowledge, use of, and suggestions for education about the ICF. Method. Mixed methods design included (i) an online survey, with data analyzed using quantitative methods; and (ii) semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of 10 therapists, using content analysis. Results. The online survey was completed by 587 occupational therapists (17.6% return). Four hundred and ten respondents (70.0%) indicated some ICF knowledge, and 121 of those individuals (29.5%) reported using it in practice. Interview participants suggested resources, perceived meaning and investment factors impact ICF knowledge. Suggested uses include frameworks and interprofessional collaboration, while ideas for education involve meaningful and accessible formats. Practice Implications. The ICF may be useful to occupational therapists in different settings if it fulfills a meaningful purpose and fits with practice models.


  • Farrell, Jennifer
  • Anderson, Stacey
  • Hewitt, Kim
  • Livingston, Michael H
  • Stewart, Debra

publication date

  • December 2007