Measuring health and disability: Supporting policy development. The European MHADIE project

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Disability is a multi-dimensional phenomenon arising out of an interaction between the individual's health status and his environment: disability data must reflect this bio-psychosocial model. WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides the framework for documenting the interaction between health status and environmental features. MHADIE, a 3-year project supported by a EC 6th Framework Programme Grant, aimed at demonstrating the feasibility and utility of the ICF model in the measurement and description of disability. Methods. The ICF model was used as the structure for analysing existing population health surveys and education statistics data. ICF-based tools were used to describe disability in selected health conditions. Results. MHADIE researchers showed that the ICF model is adequate for describing and measuring patterns of disability in clinical samples from different countries cross-sectionally and over time as well as feasible and useful in educational sectors. Conclusions. Valid and reliable information are essential to design, implement or evaluate policies to combat discrimination, promote integration and enhance opportunities. Results made it possible to produce a definition of disability as well as policy recommendations concerning how, in Europe and internationally, the existing sources of data can be harmonised with the ICF model.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • ICF
  • United Nations 'Conventions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities'

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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