Application of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework in record keeping by occupational therapists and physiotherapists at central hospitals in Harare
Introduction: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework that provides a detailed outline of the information that should be included in patient records. Whilst the World Federation of occupational therapists and the World Confederation of Physiotherapists have recommended use of this framework in clinical practice, the extent to which Zimbabwean therapists are applying this framework in patients' assessment and treatment is unknown.
Objective: This study was conducted to determine the extent to which the ICF framework is being applied in recording information on patient assessment and treatment by occupational therapists and physiotherapists in Zimbabwe.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in rehabilitation departments at three central hospitals in Harare. Thirty therapists were interviewed on their record keeping practices. Sixty randomly selected records for in-patients receiving rehabilitation services were also evaluated for completeness using a checklist developed using ICF guidelines. Data were analysed using Microsoft excel and Epi info.
Results: Forty-three percent (12) of the records were rated as good and another (43%) as satisfactory. None of the records reviewed were 100% complete according to the ICF guidelines. Personal factors were the most recorded (82%) component and the least recorded were environmental factors (18%) affecting patient functioning. .There were no statistically significant associations between application of the ICF framework and profession (p=0.680), ICF application and years in clinical practice (p=0.557) and training and record keeping practices (p=1.000).
Conclusion: Standard guidelines for evaluating patients with different conditions derived from the ICF checklist should be designed for occupational therapists and physiotherapists to standardise information recorded during management of patients seeking rehabilitation services.