Amputation is a common late stage sequel of peripheral vascular disease and diabetes or a sequel of accidental trauma, civil unrest and landmines. The functional impairments affect many facets of life including but not limited to: Mobility; activities of daily living; body image and sexuality. Classification, measurement and comparison of the consequences of amputations has been impeded by the limited availability of internationally, multiculturally standardized instruments in the amputee setting. The introduction of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Assembly in May 2001 provides a globally accepted framework and classification system to describe, assess and compare function and disability. In order to facilitate the use of the ICF in everyday clinical practice and research, ICF core sets have been developed that focus on specific aspects of function typically associated with a particular disability. The objective of this paper is to outline the development process for the ICF core sets for persons following amputation. The ICF core sets are designed to translate the benefits of the ICF into clinical routine. The ICF core sets will be defined at a Consensus conference which will integrate evidence from preparatory studies, namely: (a) a systematic literature review regarding the outcome measures of clinical trails and observational studies, (b) semi-structured patient interviews, (c) international experts participating in an internet-based survey, and (d) cross-sectional, multi-center studies for clinical applicability. To validate the ICF core sets field-testing will follow.
Invitation for participation: The development of ICF Core Sets is an inclusive and open process. Anyone who wishes to actively participate in this process is invited to do so.