Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Glossary Item
METeOR identifier:327292
Registration status:Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 01/03/2005
Definition:Functioning is the umbrella term for any or all of: body functions, body structures, activities and participation. Functioning is a multidimensional concept denoting the neutral aspects of the interaction between an individual (with a health condition) and that individual's environmental and personal factors.

An individual's functioning in a specific domain is an interaction or complex relationship between health conditions and environmental and personal factors.

Functioning and disability are dual concepts in a broad framework, with disability focussing on the more negative aspects of this interaction.

Collection and usage attributes


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 edn) ANN{.N[N]} and Episode of care additional diagnosis, code (ICD-10-AM 3rd edn) ANN{.N[N]}.

Source and reference attributes


World Health Organization (WHO) 2001. ICF: 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

Reference documents:

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

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:

Supersedes Functioning, version 1, DEC, NCSDD, NCSIMG, Superseded 01/03/2005.pdf (15.4 KB)

Metadata items which use this glossary item:

Activity difficulty level code (ICF 2001) N Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Disability grouping code N[N] Community Services (retired), Superseded 08/05/2006

Environmental factors code (ICF 2001) N[NNN] Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Functioning and Disability DSS Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006