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Environmental needs in childhood disability analysed by the WHO ICF, Child and Youth Version

Journal title
Danish medical journal
Publication year
2016
Author(s)
Illum, N. O.; Bonderup, M.; Gradel, K. O.
Volume
63
Number
6

INTRODUCTION: The WHO has launched a common classification for disabilities in children, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, Child and Youth Version (ICF-CY). We wanted to determine whether cat-egories of the environmental (e) and the body functions (b) components of the classification could address environmental needs in children with different disorders and various disability severities. METHODS: A set of 16 e categories and 47 b categories were selected and worded to best enable parents to describe children’s everyday support needs and environmental influences through interviews in their own homes. RESULTS: Of the 367 invited parents, 332 (90.5%) participated, providing data on children with spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy, muscular disorders, cerebral palsy, visual impairments, hearing impairments, mental disability and disabilities following brain tumour treatment. The mean age of children across disabilities was 9.4 years (range: 1.0-15.9). The mean e code score was 35.7 (range: 4.0-64.0), and the mean b code score was 32.2 (range: 0.0-159.0). The most urgent needs as detected by qualifier 4 environmental categories scores were common among children with complex disorders and issues related to health professionals, legal services and health services. CONCLUSIONS: Parents understand the environmental and body function components in a meaningful manner and the codes seem to be valid. Special emphasis should be given to environmental issues for children with more complex disabilities. There was no correlation between the severity of a disability and environmental issues, indicating that each child’s needs were basically met, irrespective of disability severity. FUNDING: partnership project section sign 16, 21, 31 administered by the Danish Health Authority. TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.

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