New directions in health care and disability : the need for a shared understanding of human functioning

Madden, Ros and Ferreira, M and Einfeld, S L and Emerson, Eric and Manga, Robert and Refshauge, Kathryn and Llewellyn, Gwynnyth (2012) New directions in health care and disability : the need for a shared understanding of human functioning. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 36 (5). pp. 458-461. ISSN 1326-0200

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Objective: Human ‘functioning’ is about how people live on a day-to-day basis. This paper sets out the case for adopting a common language about functioning that would improve population health information and information sharing across health and community service systems. Approach: Modern health systems recognise the importance of human functioning in addition to diagnosis and disease prevention. ‘Functioning’ is important in the context of chronic disease, mental health, healthy ageing, and the right of people with disabilities and their carers to participate in society. We outline major directions in the health system and their relationship to the concept of functioning. Conclusions and implications: The concept of functioning has not been used explicitly and consistently in Australian health and human service systems, which nevertheless deal with the 20% of the population who experience difficulties in functioning. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is the international standard for definition, classification, information and measurement of functioning. While it has been partially implemented in Australia, it should be used more broadly, across health and community services, as the basis for information on functioning. This is an intended parallel to the use of the ICD as the standard classification and code list for disease monitoring and related health information systems. Monitoring health status and planning interventions and resources require information about people's functioning in their daily lives as well as their diseases. Such information should be based on the international standards developed for this purpose.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? public health, environmental and occupational health ??
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Deposited On:
26 Feb 2013 15:18
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:17