Selection of ICF Core Sets for Functioning Assessment in Disability Evaluation Toward the Assignment to Return to Work Programs and/or Disability Benefits

  • Urban SchweglerEmail author
  • Melissa Selb
  • Reuben Escorpizo
  • Gerold Stucki
Part of the Handbooks in Health, Work, and Disability book series (SHHDW)


Disability evaluation is crucial for deciding on claimants’ eligibility for disability benefits or their assignment to appropriate return to work programs. Recently emerging criticism points to low transparency and comparability of the evaluations. They are often reported in a poorly standardized way and focus on the determination of a claimant’s health condition rather than on a comprehensible documentation of his or her functioning at work. In addition, the evaluations hardly explain how the claimant’s work functioning is influenced by impairments and contextual factors. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) represents the worldwide standard for reporting on functioning and disability. Based on a biopsychosocial framework, the ICF conceptualizes human functioning holistically as the interplay between body functions and structures, activities and participation, as well as contextual factors and thus promises transparent reporting in disability evaluation. Moreover, the ICF taxonomy provides a comprehensive spectrum of categories for standardized documentation of functioning assessments which represent core elements of disability evaluation. ICF Core Sets preserve the ICF in a useable mode and may serve as practical tools for reporting on functioning assessments. This chapter illustrates how ICF Core Sets should be selected for functioning assessments in the context of disability evaluation toward the assignment to return to work programs and/or eligibility determination for disability benefits.


Spinal Cord Injury Ankylose Spondylitis Work Disability Vocational Rehabilitation Disability Benefit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Ankylosing spondylitis


Chronic widespread pain


European Union of Medicine in Assurance and Social Security


German National Health Interview and Examination Survey


International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health


ICF Core Set


Low back pain


United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


Return to work


Spinal cord injury


Vocational rehabilitation


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urban Schwegler
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Melissa Selb
    • 1
    • 3
  • Reuben Escorpizo
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gerold Stucki
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Swiss Paraplegic ResearchNottwilSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Health Sciences and Health PolicyUniversity of LucerneLucerneSwitzerland
  3. 3.ICF Research BranchWHO CC FIC in Germany (DIMDI)NottwilSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Physical TherapyLouisiana State University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA

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