A major issue for professionals working with traumatic brain injury (TBI) concerns the large variation in currently available measures to address function and disability in TBI. There is little standardization in the use of these instruments and therefore, comparison of data is quite difficult. The objective of the ICF Core Set development project for persons with TBI was to identify relevant categories which comprehensively describe and measure the spectrum of limitations in functioning of persons with TBI. The project was a collaborative effort between the Guttmann Institute, the ICF Research Branch, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ISPRM). The enormous organization of completing all 4 preliminary studies culminating in the consensus conference which took place in Barcelona from 26-28 March 2010 was under the leadership of the Brain Injury Unit at the Guttmann Institute.
The preparatory phase of the project included the following studies:
The information collected from these preparatory studies was presented at the March 2010 international consensus conference, a multi-stage, well-established decision- making and consensus process. At this consensus conference, 23 TBI experts from 8 health professions (physicians, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, psychologists, speech therapists, and social workers) and from 9 countries decided which ICF categories are to be included in the ICF Core Sets for TBI.
139 ICF categories were selected for inclusion in the Comprehensive ICF Core for TBI. These categories can be taken into account when conducting a comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment (e.g. in a rehabilitation setting). Out of the 139 Comprehensive ICF Core Set categories, 23 ICF categories were selected for the Brief ICF Core for TBI. The Brief ICF Core Set can be used in settings in which a brief description and assessment of functioning of a person with TBI is sufficient (e.g. primary care or in research).
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