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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


FERNANDEZ-LOPEZ, Juan Antonio; FERNANDEZ-FIDALGO, María  and  CIEZA, Alarcos. Quality of life, health and well-being conceptualizations from the perspective of the International Classification of Functioning, disability and health (ICF). Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.84, n.2, pp.169-184. ISSN 2173-9110.

The World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has provided a new foundation for our understanding of health, functioning, and disability. As a content-valid, comprehensive and universally applicable health classification, it serves as a platform to clarify and specify health-related concepts that are frequently used in the medical literature as well-being, health state, health status, quality of life (QoL) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The ICF entities health and health-related domains and functioning will be used as starting point to reach the objective of the paper. Health domains refer to domains intrinsic to the person as a physiological and psychological entity. Health-related domains are not part of a person's health but are so closely related that a description of a person's lived experience of health would be incomplete without them. Functioning refers to all health and health-related domains within the ICF. Well-being is made up of health, health-related, and non-health-related domains, such as autonomy and integrity. QoL is the individual's perceptions of how the life is going in health, health-related, and non-health domains. HRQoL is the individual's perceptions of how the life is going in health and health-related domains. "HRQoL is to QoL as functioning is to well-being". The ICF represents a standardized and international basis for the operationalization of health based on its health domains, and is also the basis for the operationalization of functioning based on all health and health-related domains contained therein. The authors argue that functioning is an operationalization of health from a broader perspective that consider the individual person not only as a biological but also as a social entity.

Keywords : Quality of life; Health-status; International Classification of Funtioning.

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