Validating the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Core Sets for Autism in a Sample of Australian School-Aged Children on the Spectrum

Maya Hayden-Evans, Kiah Evans, Benjamin Milbourn, Emily D’Arcy, Angela Chamberlain, Bahareh Afsharnejad, Andrew Whitehouse, Sven Bölte, Sonya Girdler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Assessing functioning of children on the autism spectrum is necessary to determine the level of support they require to participate in everyday activities across contexts. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a comprehensive biopsychosocial framework recommended for classifying health-related functioning in a holistic manner, across the components of body functions, activities and participation, and environmental factors. The ICF Core Sets (ICF-CSs) are sub-sets of relevant codes from the broader framework that provide a basis for developing condition-specific measures. This study combined the ICF-CSs for autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cerebral palsy (CP) to validate the ICF-CSs for autism in an Australian sample of school-aged children. This cross-sectional study involved caregivers of school-aged children on the spectrum (n = 70) completing an online survey and being visited in their homes by an occupational therapist to complete the proxy-report measure based on the ICF-CSs for autism, ADHD and CP. Absolute and relative frequencies of ratings for each of the codes included in the measure were calculated and reported, along with the number of participants who required clarification to understand the terminology used. Findings indicate that the body functions and activities and participation represented in the ICF-CSs for autism were the most applicable for the sample. However, findings relating to environmental factors were less conclusive. Some codes not currently included in the ICF-CSs for autism may warrant further investigation, and the language used in measures based on the ICF-CSs should be revised to ensure clarity.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date24 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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