Identification of relevant ICF categories for indication, intervention planning and evaluation of health resort programs: a Delphi exercise
Health resort programs have a long tradition, mainly in European countries and Japan. They rely on local resources and the physical environment, physical medicine interventions and traditional medicine to optimise functioning and health. Arguably because of the long tradition, there is only a limited number of high-quality studies that examine the effectiveness of health resort programs. Specific challenges to the evaluation of health resort programs are to randomise the holistic approach with a varying number of specific interventions but also the reliance on the effect of the physical environment. Reference standards for the planning and reporting of health resort studies would be highly beneficial. With the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF), we now have such a standard that allows us to describe body functions and structures, activities and participation and interaction with environmental factors. A major challenge when applying the ICF in practice is its length. Therefore, the objective of this project was to identify the ICF categories most relevant for health resort programs. We conducted a consensus-building, three-round, e-mail survey using the Delphi technique. Based on the consensus of the experts, it was possible to come up with an ICF Core Set that can serve as reference standards for the indication, intervention planning and evaluation of health resort programs. This preliminary ICF Core Set should be tested in different regions and in subsets of health resort visitors with varying conditions.