Ageing International

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 414–440 | Cite as

ICF Core Set for Matching Older Adults with Dementia and Technology

  • Marcia J. Scherer
  • Stefano Federici
  • Lorenza Tiberio
  • Martina Pigliautile
  • Fabrizio Corradi
  • Fabio Meloni


The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) consists of 34 codes per person at the one digit level and, at more detailed levels, the number of codes can reach 1,424 items. This degree of complexity has led research groups to develop core sets of ICF codes for specific health conditions and disabilities. The ICF core sets typically include the least number of domains to be practical, but as many as required to sufficiently characterize a specific condition. The purpose of this article is to present an ICF core set addressed to older adults with dementia in the process of receiving Assistive Technology (AT) for their functioning and well-being. The ICF Core Set development involved a formal decision-making and consensus process, integrating evidence gathered from preliminary studies that included focus groups of health professionals, a systematic review of the literature, and empirical data collected from patients and caregivers. In the ICF core set for older adults with dementia in an AT selection process, the body functions and structures codes are decreased but those related to activities and participation and personal and environmental factors are increased. To further achieve a biopsychosocial and user-driven Core Set that can be applied internationally, ICF categories have been supplemented with items in a measure of AT predisposition and use that is used in many countries. The combination is named the ICF core set for Matching Older Adult with Dementia and Technology (MOADT).


ICF ICF core set Dementia Aging Assistive Technology (AT) Rehabilitation Alzheimer’s disease Functioning Well-being Matching Older Adult with Dementia and Technology (MOADT) Population studies 



The authors wish to thank prof. Patrizia Mecocci, Head Physician of the Geriatrics Clinic at the Hospital of S. Maria della Misericordia of Perugia, (Italy), and Director of the Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics at the University of Perugia, for her thoughtful comments and ICF core set for dementia reviewing; and prof. Saveria Dandini, President of the Vaccari Institute for Disable People of Rome, (Italy) for her support and participation in the project.


  1. Arthanat, S., & Lenker, J. A. (2004). Evaluating the ICF as a framework for clinical assessment of persons for assistive technology device recommendation. Paper presented at the 10th North American Collaborating Center (NACC) Conference on ICF, Halifax, NS, June 1–4.Google Scholar
  2. Bharucha, A., Anand, V., Forlizzi, J., Dew, M. A., Reynolds, C. F., III, Stevens, S., et al. (2009). Intelligent assistive technology applications to dementia care: current capabilities, limitations, and future challenges. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 17(2), 88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bodine, C., & Scherer, M. J. (2006). Technology for improving cognitive function. A workshop sponsored by the U.S. Interagency committee on disability research (icdr): reports from working groups. Disability and Rehabilitation, 28(24), 1567–1571. doi: 10.1080/09638280601071151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ferri, C. P., Prince, M., Brayne, C., Brodaty, H., Fratiglioni, L., Ganguli, M., et al. (2006). Global prevalence of dementia: a delphi consensus study. Lancet, 366(9503), 2112–2117. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67889-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hachinski, V. C., Iliff, L. D., Zilhka, E., Du Boulay, G. H., McAllister, V. L., Marshall, J., et al. (1975). Cerebral blood flow in dementia. Archives of Neurology, 32(9), 632–637. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1975.00490510088009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Katz, S., Ford, A. B., Moskowitz, R. W., Jackson, B. A., & Jaffe, M. W. (1963). Studies of illness in the aged. The index of adl: a standardized measure of biological and psychosocial function. JAMA, 185(12), 914–919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kirsch, N. L., & Scherer, M. J. (2010). Assistive technology for cognition and behavior. In R. G. Frank, M. Rosenthal, & B. Caplan (Eds.), Handbook of rehabilitation psychology (2nd ed., pp. 273–284). Washington: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  8. Lawton, M. P., & Brody, E. M. (1969). Assessment of older people: Self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living. The Gerontologist, 9(3), 179–186. doi: 10.1093/geront/9.3_Part_1.179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., Loring, D. W., Hannay, H. J., & Fischer, J. S. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Mioshi, E., Dawson, K., Mitchell, J., Arnold, R., & Hodges, J. R. (2006). The addenbrooke’s cognitive examination revised (ace-r): a brief cognitive test battery for dementia screening. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21(11), 1078–1085. doi: 10.1002/gps.1610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Novak, M., & Guest, C. (1989). Application of a multidimensional caregiver burden inventory. The Gerontologist, 29(6), 798–803. doi: 10.1093/geront/29.6.798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reed, G. M., Dilfer, K., Bufka, L. F., Scherer, M. J., Kotze, P., Tshivhase, M., et al. (2008). Three model curricula for teaching clinicians to use the ICF. Disability and Rehabilitation, 30(12/13), 927–941. doi: 10.1080/09638280701800301.Google Scholar
  13. Reynish, E., Bickel, H., Fratiglioni, L., Kiejna, A., Prince, M., & Georges, J. (2009). Systematic review and collaborative analysis of the prevalence of dementia in europe. Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 5(4, Suppl. 1), P393–P393. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2009.04.1042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Riemer-Reiss, M. L., & Wacker, R. (2000). Factors associated with assistive technology discontinuance among individuals with disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, 66(3), 44–50.Google Scholar
  15. Scherer, M. J. (2005a). Assessing the benefits of using assistive technologies and other supports for thinking, remembering and learning. Disability and Rehabilitation, 27(13), 731–739. doi: 10.1080/09638280400014816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Scherer MJ (2005b) Cross-walking the ICF to a measure of assistive technology predisposition and use. Paper presented at the 11th Annual North American Collaborating Center (NACC) Conference on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), Rochester, NY, June 22–24.Google Scholar
  17. Scherer, M. J., & Bodine, C. (2006). Technology for improving cognitive function: report on a workshop sponsored by the u.S. Interagency committee on disability research. Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology, 1(4), 257–261. doi: 10.1080/17483100600982977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Scherer, M. J., & Dicowden, M. A. (2008). Organizing future research and intervention efforts on the impact and effects of gender differences on disability and rehabilitation: the usefulness of the international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF). Disability and Rehabilitation, 30(3), 161–165. doi: 10.1080/09638280701532292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Scherer, M. J., & Glueckauf, R. (2005). Assessing the benefits of assistive technologies for activities and participation. Rehabilitation Psychology, 50(2), 132–141. doi: 10.1037/0090-5550.50.2.132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Scherer, M. J., Hart, T., Kirsch, N., & Schulthesis, M. (2005). Assistive technologies for cognitive disabilities. Crit Rev Phys Rehabil Med, 17(3), 195–215. doi: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.v17.i3.30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Scherer, M. J., Sax, C. L., Vanbiervliet, A., Cushman, L. A., & Scherer, J. V. (2005). Predictors of assistive technology use: the importance of personal and psychosocial factors. Disability and Rehabilitation, 27(21), 1321–1331. doi: 10.1080/09638280500164800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stucki, G., Cieza, A., Ewert, T., Kostanjsek, N., Chatterji, S., & Üstün, T. B. (2002). Application of the international classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) in clinical practice. Disability and Rehabilitation, 24(5), 281–282. doi: 10.1080/10.1080/09638280110105222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tinetti, M. E. (1986). Performance-oriented assessment of mobility problems in elderly patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 34(2), 119–126.Google Scholar
  24. World Health Organization (WHO). (2001). ICF: International classification of functioning, disability, and health. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcia J. Scherer
    • 1
  • Stefano Federici
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lorenza Tiberio
    • 4
    • 5
  • Martina Pigliautile
    • 5
    • 6
  • Fabrizio Corradi
    • 3
    • 7
  • Fabio Meloni
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute for Matching Person & Technology, Inc.WebsterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human and Education Sciences, General PsychologyUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  3. 3.Center for Integrated Research on DisabilitySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  4. 4.Institute for Cognitive Science and TechnologiesNational Research Council of ItalyRomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  6. 6.Institute of Gerontology and GeriatricsUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  7. 7.Vaccari Institute for Disable People of RomeRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations