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Disability

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termGlossary Item
METeOR identifier:Help on this term327304
Registration status:Help on this termHousing assistance, Standard 01/03/2005
Health, Superseded 29/06/2016
Disability, Standard 07/10/2014
Children and Families, Standard 22/11/2016
Community Services (retired), Standard 01/03/2005
Definition:Help on this term

Disability is the umbrella term for any or all of: an impairment of body structure or function, a limitation in activities, or a restriction in participation.

Disability is a multi-dimensional and complex concept and is conceived as a dynamic interaction between health conditions and environmental and personal factors (WHO 2001:6).

Collection and usage attributes

Comments:Help on this term

Many different 'definitions' of disability are used in Australia, both in administrative data collections and in Acts of Parliament. The consistent identification of disability in national data collections has been recommended in a number of reports, for instance to enable:

  • the monitoring of access to generic services by people with disability
  • the collection of more consistent data on disability support and related services, including data on service use by different groups
  • population data and service data to be related, thereby improving the nation's analytical capacity in relation to the need for and supply of services
  • improved understanding of the relationship between disability, health conditions and other health outcomes.

Defining disability makes it possible to determine the number of people who are accessing services, both disability specific and generic, and also those with a disability in the general population with unmet need. Better definition of disability will aid better targeting of resources to those in need.

Disability arises from the interaction between health conditions and environmental and personal factors. A health condition may be a disease (acute or chronic), disorder, injury or trauma. Environmental factors make up the physical, social and attitudinal environment in which people live and conduct their lives. Personal factors relate to the individual, such as age, sex and Indigenous status.

The concept 'Disability' can be described using a combination of related metadata items as building blocks.

The metadata items selected may vary depending on the definition of disability used. For example, in hospital rehabilitation, the focus may be on the impairment and activity dimensions and in community-based care the focus may be primarily on participation. Some applications may require a broad scope for inclusion (e.g. discrimination legislation). Data collections relating to services will select combinations of the data elements, which best reflect the eligibility criteria for the service.

This glossary item 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

Origin:Help on this term

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:Help on this term

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
http://www.who.int/classifications/icf/en
• Australian Collaborating Centre ICF website
http://www.aihw.gov.au/disability/icf/index.html

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Has been superseded by Disability Health, Standard 29/06/2016, Disability, Standard 28/09/2016

Metadata items which use this glossary item:Help on this term

Activities and participation code (ICF 2001) AN[NNN] Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Activities and participation code (ICF 2001) N[NNN] Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Activity difficulty level code (ICF 2001) N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

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

Activity need for assistance code N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Activity need for assistance disability code N Disability, Standard 15/12/2017

Activity need for assistance disability code N Disability, Superseded 15/12/2017
Community Services (retired), Standard 13/03/2013

Body function code (ICF 2001) AN[NNNN] Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Body functions code (ICF 2001) N[NNNN] Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Body structure code (ICF 2001) AN[NNNN] Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Body structures code (ICF 2001) N[NNNN] Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

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

Disability status Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017
Children and Families, Standard 22/11/2016

Dwelling—modification requirement status Housing assistance, Retired 10/02/2006

Dwelling—modification status Housing assistance, Retired 10/02/2006

Dwelling—modification status, code N Housing assistance, Retired 10/02/2006

Environmental factor code (ICF 2001) AN[NNN] Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

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

Extent of environmental factors influence code (ICF 2001) [X]N Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Extent of environmental factors influence code (ICF 2001) [X]N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

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

Goal of care code NN Health, Standard 01/03/2005

Household in greatest need code N Housing assistance, Standard 10/02/2006

Household in greatest need code N Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017

Household—disability status Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017

Household—disability status Housing assistance, Superseded 30/08/2017

Household—disability status, yes/no code N Housing assistance, Superseded 30/08/2017

Household—disability status, yes/no code N Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017

Household—greatest need status Housing assistance, Superseded 10/02/2006

Impairment extent code (ICF 2001) N Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Impairment extent code (ICF 2001) N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Impairment location code (ICF 2001) N Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Impairment location code (ICF 2001) N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Impairment nature code (ICF 2001) N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Impairment nature code (ICF 2001) N Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Low income household—special need status Housing assistance, Retired 10/02/2006

Mainstream community housing DSS 2013- Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program NBEDS 2014-18 Health, Superseded 06/09/2018

Participation extent code (ICF 2001) N Community Services (retired), Superseded 16/10/2006

Participation extent code (ICF 2001) N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Participation satisfaction level code N Health, Standard 29/11/2006
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 16/10/2006

Person—disability status Housing assistance, Standard 29/08/2014
Health, Standard 29/08/2014
Community Services (retired), Proposed 17/10/2011

Person—disability status, code N Housing assistance, Superseded 30/08/2017
Health, Standard 29/08/2014
Community Services (retired), Recorded 17/10/2011

Person—disability status, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code N Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017
Children and Families, Standard 22/11/2016

Person—disability status, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code N Health, Standardisation pending 23/11/2018

Public rental housing DSS 2013-14 Housing assistance, Superseded 30/08/2017

Public rental housing DSS 2014-17 Housing assistance, Superseded 19/12/2017

Public rental housing DSS 2017- Housing assistance, Standard 19/12/2017

State owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH) DSS 2013-14 Housing assistance, Superseded 30/08/2017

State owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH) DSS 2014-17 Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017

State owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH) DSS 2017- Housing assistance, Standard 19/12/2017

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