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Gebhardt, Christina (2010): Validation of the Comprehensive Core Set for Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Perspective of Physicians. Dissertation, LMU München: Medizinische Fakultät



Objective: The “Comprehensive ICF Core Set for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)” is an application of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and represents the typical spectrum of problems in functioning of patients with RA. The objective of this study was to validate this ICF Core Set from the perspective of physicians. Methods: Physicians experienced in RA treatment were asked about the patients’ problems, patients’ resources and aspects of environment from their scope of practice. This survey was conducted via e-mail in three rounds using the Delphi technique. The responses were linked to the ICF by two trained individuals according to empirically tested linking rules. Consensus of the results was calculated statistically by the statistical Kappa coefficient. Results: 79 physicians in 41 countries named 512 patients’ problems spanning all ICF components. 227 ICF categories were linked to the physicians’ responses. 16 ICF categories were not represented in the Comprehensive ICF Core Set for RA although at least 75% of the participants have rated them as important. 19 issues were not covered by the ICF classification and 26 answers were linked to the not yet developed ICF component Personal factors. Conclusion: The validity of the ICF components Body Structures, Activities and Participation and Environmental Factors was well supported by the physicians whereas there was less support for the validity of the component Body Functions. Several issues arose that are not covered and need to be investigated further.