Embitterment pp 284-294 | Cite as

Contextual factors and reactive disorders in the International Classifcation of Functioning, Disability and Health

  • Cille Kennedy
  • T. Bedirhan Üstün


A person’s functioning is conceived as a dynamic interaction between the individual’s health condition and contextual factors, according to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) (WHO 2001). For reactive disorders, contextual factors are the sine qua non for establishing a diagnosis of the disorder because they represent the complete background of an individual’s life and living. Hence, reaching a diagnosis and formulating a case of a reactive disorder may be accomplished only by eliciting the impact of the contextual factors on the patient. As seen in Fig. 1, functioning is affected by both environmental factors and personal factors which make up the full range of contextual factors that modify the patient’s functioning.


Contextual Factor Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Adjustment Disorder Premorbid Personality Reactive Disorder 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cille Kennedy
    • 1
  • T. Bedirhan Üstün
    • 2
  1. 1.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and EvaluationWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.World Health Organization Classifications, Terminologies and StandardsGenevaSwitzerland

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