Development of ICF core sets for head and neck cancer

Uta Tschiesner, Simon Rogers, Andreas Dietz, Bevan Yueh, Alarcos Cieza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background. Based on the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) - Disability and Health, participants from different professional and cultural backgrounds were invited to achieve consensus on a first version of ICF Core Set for head and neck cancer (HNC). It was designed to set standards for the assessment of functioning in HNC. Methods. The ICF was adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001 and was used as the frame of reference. Preselection of potential ICF categories was based on 4 different preparatory studies: patient interviews, health professional surveys, literature review, and multicenter study applying ICF-nomenclature. After training on the ICF, the results of preparatory studies were presented to 21 invited participants to vote in a formal consensus process on both the Brief and Comprehensive ICF Core Set for HNC. Participants came from all 6 WHO world regions, covering 12 different countries. Professional backgrounds included otorhinolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons, medical/radiation oncologists, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, and social workers. Results. The Comprehensive ICF Core Set for HNC included 112 categories (8% of entire ICF) and the Brief ICF Core Set for HNC included 19 categories (1% of ICF). Conclusion. A first version of ICF Core Sets for HNC was defined. Further validation is in process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-220
Number of pages11
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Functional rehabilitation
  • Head and neck cancer
  • International classification of functioning disability and health
  • Quality of life
  • WHO


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