BACKGROUND: For our mandatory research project during medical school, we decided to spend 4 weeks at Beitostølen Helsesportsenter (BHSS) to learn more about rehabilitation, adapted physical activity (APA) and The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The ICF provides both a framework and a classification system that can be used as a universal language to describe health.
OBJECTIVE: In this study we tested two ICF core sets and the Norwegian checklist on rheumatologic patients at BHSS. The aim of the study was to explore how this clinical tool covered the patients’ function and disabilities and to identify superfluous and missing categories.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 3 patients with ankylosing spondylitis, 2 patients with RA and 1 patient with PA were scored using ICF core sets for rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain and the Norwegian checklist. The categories from the components of Body structure, Body functions, Activity and participation and Environmental factors were scored using qualifiers. The scores were based on information from observation and interview done by 5th year medical students. The patients were also interviewed on which categories they considered to be superfluous or missing.
RESULTS: The patients with RA/PA reported more problems than the patients with ankylosing spondylitis in both core sets and the Norwegian checklist. They also scored poorer in the evaluation of their general health status and daily function. 6 categories within Environmental factors were reported as superfluous. 3 of 6 patients wished for more categories on mental health. Discrepancies were discovered between problems reported by the patients and our observations. The patients reported fewer problems in the component of Activity and participation compared to what was observed.
CONCLUSION: Using the ICF core sets for rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain and the health indicators covered the patients’ function and disabilities satisfyingly. However, based on similarities between these patient groups, it should be considered to try out a common core set for rheumatologic patients.