Detecting changes following the provision of assistive devices: Utility of the WHO-DAS II

Alberto Raggia, Francesca Albanesi, Valeria Gatti, Renzo Andrich, Matilde Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHO-DAS II) is a non-disease-specific International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health-based disability assessment instrument developed to measure activity limitations and restrictions to participation. The aim of this pilot study is to evaluate WHO-DAS II responsiveness in detecting short-time changes following the provision of an Assistive Technology, which is important to define its utility in performing daily activities. Adult inpatients with a diagnosis of Disease of the Nervous System (included in Chapter VI of the ICD-10), who were prescribed an Assistive Technology to be used in the household settings, were enrolled. The WHO-DAS II was administered in individual interview at baseline and at a 2 months follow-up: in this period patients were transitioning from the hospital to home. Changes in disability profiles were detected by calculating the effect size (ES) for each WHO-DAS II domain. Ten patients with different neurological diseases were enrolled. Few longitudinal changes in disability level are reported: mild improvement is observed in the household activities (ES 0.28), whereas mild worsening is reported in self-care and participation in society domains (ES - 0.27 and - 0.26, respectively). Our study shows that the WHO-DAS II is responsive in detecting domain-specific changes over a short-term period and provides preliminary encouraging evidence for the utility of its utilization in clinical settings. However, changes in setting between baseline and followup could have an impact on the findings and interpretation of this study. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-310
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Assistive device
  • Disability
  • Effect size
  • ICF classification
  • ISO 9999 classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)


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