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Impairments of body function are problems in body function such as a loss or significant departure from population standards or averages.


Body functions are classified in neutral terms. To indicate that there is a problem with a body function requires the use of the impairment extent code to denote the extent or magnitude of the problem together with the body functions code. 


World Health Organization (WHO) 2001. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Geneva: WHO

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2003. ICF Australian User Guide Version 1.0. Canberra: AIHW


 This glossary term is based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The ICF was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2001 as a reference member of the WHO Family of International Classifications and of the Australian Family of Health and Related Classifications (endorsed by the National Health Information Management Group in 2002).

The ICF provides a framework for the description of human functioning and disability. The components of ICF are defined in relation to a health condition. A health condition is an ‘umbrella term for disease (acute or chronic), disorder, injury or trauma’ (WHO 2001). A health condition may be recorded, for example, as Episode of care principal diagnosis, code (ICD-10-AM 3rd Ed) ANN{.N[N} and Episode of care additional diagnosis, code (ICD-10-AM 3rd Ed) ANN{.N[N}.


Further information on the ICF can be found in the ICF itself and the ICF Australian User Guide (AIHW 2003) and the following websites
• WHO ICF website
• Australian Collaborating Centre ICF website

This content Based on Australian Institute of Health and Welfare material. Attribution provided as required under the AIHW CC-BY licence.

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