Measuring participation in stroke and aphasia: A crosswalk of ninety instruments to ICF categories

Caitlin Brandenburg, Linda E. Worrall, Amy D. Rodriguez, Karl Bagraith

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


Synopsis: Participation, according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), is defined as ‘involvement in life situations'. It is an important concept when measuring the impact of stroke on life roles and social involvement. However, there is a lack of accepted operationalization of participation. As a result, the content of participation self-report measures can vary widely. This project involved crosswalking measures of participation to ICF codes, with the aim of establishing;

i) which measures assess participation only,

ii) what content is most often included and,

iii) what item response types are used.

Instruments were identified from four systematic reviews and a literature search. Inclusion criteria were that the measures were self-reported, developed for adults, published in English and accessible to the researcher. All items were transcribed and linked to ICF categories using on established linking guidelines. Ninety instruments (with 2,426 items) were crosswalked to the ICF. Of these, 29 instruments contained over 50% participation items. The most frequently included participation categories in this subset were education, paid employment, recreation, socializing, being a carer, relating with friends, family and spouses, volunteer work, managing finances, community life, civic duties, human rights and religion/spirituality. Activity categories were also frequently included, namely self-care, mobility and domestic life concepts. Commonly used response formats were restriction, frequency and satisfaction. Few instruments solely assessed participation according to our operationalization. The results of this crosswalk, combined with psychometric data, may guide researchers and clinicians in selection of appropriate measures of participation in stroke and stroke-induced aphasia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number3_suppl
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


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