ICF Model

ICF Model

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ICF Model

How ICF Model Supports Occupational Therapy

The IFC offers a moderated language and guideline for describing health and health-related complications. The model serves as a guide for classifying healthy and health-related groups that make it possible to describe alterations in bodily functions and structure as well as what an individual can do in a standard setting. The classification also helps to describe what an individual can do in their natural setting. The framework that belongs to the World Health Organization’s group of international classifications and was established by WHO. The essays focuses on how the ICF model impact on the operations of an occupational therapist. It elaborates how the approach presents an opportunity to attend to a client while considering various key issues that could be impacting on their condition.

The ICF model plays fundamental functions in supporting occupational therapy, particularly with regard to approaches to conducting rehabilitation. A therapist while relying on the ICF model considers two critical aspects when attending to their client, considerations that provides an opportunity to offer holistic care. Specifically, the intervener pays considerable attention to the functioning and disability factors as well as the contextual components (McDougall et al., 2009). Further while looking at functioning and disability the occupational therapist considers body functions and structures and activities and participation, and while consider the environmental and personal factors while focusing on the contextual element. Hence, an occupational therapist would consider factors such as how the structures of the nervous system and of the elements regulating speech and voice impact on the client’s condition (McDougall et al., 2009). The therapist could also gain valuable information about their client by considering factors in the body structure such as the condition of their skin and metabolic process. In addition, relying on the IFC model improves the work of an occupational therapist because it becomes easier to understand how the body functions impact on the client. For instance, the practitioner would determine whether the client is of sound mind and whether their immunological, cardiovascular, and hematological systems work properly.

More fundamentally, an occupational therapist is likely to encounter impressive results when attending to a client because it is possible to monitor whether personal, environmental, and activities and participation impact on their current condition. Prior to attending to a client or in the course of the intervention, an occupational therapist inquiries about their client’s demographic information such as their age, gender, and education, as well as inquire about other personal factors such as upbringing and lifestyle and use the information to determine whether they have any impact on the condition why they offer help (Jelsma, 2009). The therapist may also consider factors such as race, habits, and social background and find out how they determine the patient’s condition, or how they may infuse them in their intervention. In addition, the environmental factors may be of significant value to an occupational therapist when attending to a client. The information would help to determine whether technology or certain products influence their client’s condition, or whether the any factor in the natural or man-made environment influence the situation at hand. Concerning activities and participation, therapists look at aspects such as mobility, key life areas, communication, and self-care, and can use the information to assess how they impact on a person’s health or present condition (Jelsma, 2009). Thus, the ICF model is a fundamental tool for an occupational therapist who seeks to give a holistic care to their clients.

Difference between ICF and OTPF-4

It is possible to identify certain differences between ICF and OTPF-4. Principally, OTPF-4 relates to the notion of ICF offering OT specialists a way to share the other’s views and ideologies while upholding the attention to occupational engagements. In other words, ICF broadens on psychological approaches and considerations identified in OTPF. With regard to the value of utilizing the OTPF, ICF broadens on psychological roles, OTPF has minimized information on psychological functions (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2020). In terms of goals, OTPF-4 was formed with the goal of aligning practice with present knowledge and considering about occupation.

Using ICF to Evaluate a Client


50-year-old male with hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Lives in suburb with 48-year-old wife and three children.

Was previously diagnosed with high-blood pressure.


Airway obstruction

Patient goals

  • To be able to regain normal breathing and overcome the airway obstruction that makes it difficult to take in and out air freely.
  • To regain strength and be able to function independently.
  • To rejoin his family and live happily as a family.
  • To abide by the entire treatment process.


Evident signs of violent coughing.

Struggle in breathing.

Wheezing sound.



Gasping for air.

Was able to feed and talk before the issue escalated, and was also able to recognize others. However, the patient could neither stand nor walk for longer hours.

The patient has socioeconomic constraints that deny him peace and constantly generates fear and panic in him.

Intervention goals

Restore normal breathing.

Prevent possible reemergence of such a case in the near future.

To inform about self-care approaches.


American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(2), 7412410010. https://doi. org/10.5014/ajot.2020.74S2001

Jelsma, J. (2009). Use of the international classification of functioning, disability and health: A literature survey. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 41(1), 1-12. doi:10.2340/16501977-0300

McDougall, J., Wright, V., Rosenbaum, P. (2010). The ICF model of functioning and disability: Incorporating quality of life and human development. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 13(3), 204-211. doi:10.3109/17518421003620525

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