A European Academy of rehabilitation medicine academic debate: Describing experienced health on the basis of the Who’s model of functioning (ICF) or on the theory of social productivity

Carlotte Kiekens, Jean Pierre Didier, Antti Malmivaari, Stefano Negrini, Christoph Gutenbrunner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The first Academic Debate was held within the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (EARM) in Budapest in 2016. The question debated was: is it possible to provide a theory neutral framework to describe the lived experience of health or is there an appropriate theory to understand what constitute the most relevant factors in health (and well-being). First the link between the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and rehabilitation as a key health strategy was explained. It was then argued that supplementing the ICF by theory-based approaches (e.g. a theory of social productivity) may advance explanations with regard to participation and links with health and well-being. Thirdly, it was recalled that one of the strengths of the ICF is exactly being “theory neutral”. There was no doubt that there is a need for scientific theories to describe functioning and health. The theory of social productivity seems to be an important contribution towards this goal. However, the definition of wellbeing in relation to the operationalization of functioning and health needs to be further developed. The conclusion cannot be an “either-or” (classification vs theory). Projects should be set up both to further develop the ICF and to refine (or develop new) theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-247
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019

Keywords

  • Health
  • International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Social productivity
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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