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A Systematic Literature Review of the ICF/ICF-CY in Education: A Useful Tool for Inclusion or a Flight of Fantasy?
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD. (CHILD/MURINET)
Consiglio Nazionale sulla Disabilità (CND), Italy. (MURINET)
Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland. (MURINET)
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) is meant to be a universal language for professionals working with functioning and health in children and adults. So far most applications of ICF have been in the field of health sciences. Is it also applicable to education? This paper aims to present the outcome of a systematic literature review in the fields of education, more specifically education of children with disabilities or special educational needs and the ICF. Devised as a complementary classification of health and functioning by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2001 with a child and youth version (ICF-CY) published in 2007, it introduces a biopsycosocial approach to functioning. This stresses the importance of the environment and participation experience and incorporates components described at the body, individual and societal levels. One of the aims of inclusive education is to enhance the access and participation of children with disabilities (UNESCO, 1994; United Nations, 1989, 2006). From a disability perspective the biopsychosocial model emphasizes that the needs of persons with disabilities being not just medical but more broadly, social, educational and functional in nature (Simeonsson et al., 2003).  Disability is understood as a complex interaction between a health condition and contextual factors and not as an attribute of a person.

The ICF appears to be mostly used in the medical field with reviews highlighting its use and applications (Bruyère, Van Looy, & Peterson, 2005). However, if there is considerable work done in terms of the use of the ICF/ICF-CY in the medical and rehabilitation fields, this does not appear to be the case when we consider its presence, concepts and model in the field of education: it is unknown how well received or known the ICF is in the educational field. Thus, this literature review intends to situate the current debates in education, such as additional support, eligibility, and goal planning, which relate to the ICF and its concepts and also to report the extent to which it is being used. The main interest of this literature review is to explore how the ICF and its child and youth version (ICF-CY), are currently situated in the field of education with respect to various processes at different levels with an international perspective. This research focus can be broken into three key questions:- Is the ICF/ ICF-CY is used in educational context today? If yes, how is it used?- What critical points arise when using the ICF/ ICF-CY in educational settings, namely what are the possible effects of the use of the ICF/ ICF-CY in the approaches to additional support provision with a view to ensuring inclusion?- Are the ICF/ ICF-CY components present in the reviewed articles, namely how is the environment described, which personal factors are mentioned, and how is the concept of participation used?

 

Method

This study uses a systematic review of the literature using database keyword searches. Studies exploring the relationship between education, the ICF and its related concepts: participation, environment, and personal factors were sought. The keywords used to search in the databases were applied after qualitative test searches were carried out to establish the suitability of the terms. The selection of studies was then refined further using inclusion and exclusion protocols. The protocols investigated the paper contents at different levels: abstract, full-text, and full-text quality level. In addition an extraction protocol is also used on the included documents to draw on the points which arise from the research questions and provide the basis for the main discussion.

Expected Outcomes

The final search was limited to works which had an ICF and an educational focus and using this strategy 423 studies were found. The primary-step protocol stipulated that abstracts containing at least one ICF-related factor, and at least one education-related factor were included. All of the authors examined the first 100 abstracts and a check for inter-rater reliability was made. Approximately 150 further abstracts were examined by each of the authors ensuring that the majority of the abstracts were reviewed by more than one author. Overall inter-rater reliability was calculated. After the primary stage 70 abstracts met the inclusion criteria for the second stage of review at full-text level. Preliminary results suggest that there is little application of the ICF/ICF-CY at different levels of education systems. When it is used it appears to be linked to SEN, Special Education, Special Needs, disability in general or specific disabilities. Whether the framework itself will be of direct use for different education purposes remains to be resolved. It is the view of the authors, having undertaking this review, that the concepts ICF/ICF-CY introduces – especially those of disability and participation – will have a long-lasting and positive effect on inclusive education.

References

Bruyère, S. M., Van Looy, S. A., & Peterson, D. B. (2005). The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Contemporary Literature Overview. Rehabilitation Psychology 50(2), 113-121. Simeonsson, R. J., Leonardi, M., Lollar, D., Bjorck-Akesson, E., Hollenweger, J., & Martinuzzi, A. (2003). Applying the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to measure childhood disability. Disability and Rehabilitation, 25(11-12), 602-610. UNESCO (1994). Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. United Nations. (1989). Convention on the Rights of the Child. United Nations. (2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. WHO. (2001). International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Geneva: WHO. WHO. (2007). International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, Version for Children and Youth, ICF-CY. Geneva: WHO.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Keywords [en]
ICF, ICF-CY, education, special education
National Category
Pedagogy Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-14809OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-14809DiVA, id: diva2:407302
Conference
European Conference on Educational Research 2010 Helsinki
Projects
MURINET
Funder
EU, European Research Council, MRTN-CT-2006-035794
Note
Paper presentation.Available from: 2011-03-30 Created: 2011-03-30 Last updated: 2012-05-24

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