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Personal Factors

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the relevance of Personal Factors (PF) in the context of functioning and disability and included them in the framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). However, PF are not implemented in the classification, yet, and their understanding and role requires further clarification.

The PFRP aims (1) to explore the possibilities of developing the ICF classification of PF in collaboration with the WHO, and (2) to explore the role of PF with special reference to people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The classification work stream of the PFRP elaborates on the conceptualization and value of the ICF classification of PF, and creates a trial classification of PF as a starting point for a formalized global WHO classification development process. The work stream on PF in SCI of the PFRP embraces projects, which focus on personal resources and strengths, social skills and social support, and on the subjective experience of SCI. It provides evidence on the role of prominent PF as determinants, moderators or mediators in relation to adjustment, functioning, and quality of life following SCI.

PF related research can enhance the understanding of functioning, disability, and health, but also interventions and services for people with disabilities. PF can contribute to facilitate person-centeredness in rehabilitation care, and to optimize health promotion, health maintenance, or secondary prevention programs. Considering PF ultimately strengthens the affected individuals’ perspective in the context of disability research and rehabilitation practice.

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