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CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS OF DISABILITY The contemporary conception of disability proposed in the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) views disability as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. Disability is the interaction between individuals with a health condition (e.g. cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or depression) and personal and environmental factors (e.g. negative attitudes, inaccessible transportation, or limited social supports). Long ago there was great confusion over the meaning of terms such as impairment, handicap, or disability. Then, in 1980, the WHO provided great service by offering a clear way of thinking about it all in a little book…show more content…
Measurements of quality of life extend the disability focus beyond the ability to perform "activities of daily living" to include a broad range of functioning (work, home, play) and also the person's feelings of satisfaction and well-being. This is necessarily a qualitative and subjective concept, judged by the patient in terms of the extent to which they are able to do the things they wish to do. In this medical context, quality of life is distinct from wealth or possessions, and to amke this clear you may see the term "health-related quality of life." Reflecting these evolving ideas, the WHO revised its Impairment, Disability and Handicap triad in 2001, re-naming it the International Classification of Function (ICF). This classification system provides codes for the complete range of functional states; codes cover body structures and functions, impairments, activities and participation in society. The ICF also considers contextual factors that may influence activity levels, so function is viewed as an interaction between health conditions (a disease or injury) and the context in which the person lives (both physical environment and cultural norms relevant to the disease). It establishes a common language for describing functional states that can be used in comparing across diseases and countries. The ICF therefore uses positive language, so that "activity" and "participation"
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