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ICF-StARS – Standardized Assessment and Reporting of Functioning Information


About This Course

The course provides you with an introduction to the concept of functioning and an overview of the role and importance of functioning information in the health system. Moreover, the course presents specific aspects of a Standardized Assessment and Reporting System for functioning information (StARS) based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The use of diverse standards as well as qualitative and quantitative methods in this context are summarized under the umbrella term "ICF-StARS" and will be illustrated with selected practical examples.

By the end of this course, you will know how to apply the ICF in different settings to assess and report functioning information in a standardized manner. You will have also learned the basics of standardized assessment and reporting of functioning and gained insights in relevant standards, tools and methods. With this course, we aim to support you in the collaboration with colleagues and partners in implementing the ICF.

Course Structure

The ICF-StARS course is structured in different modules over a course of three weeks. Participants are able to independently go through the course material which includes reading material, video lectures, quizzes and interactive discussion forums. The modules are:

Week 1

  • Getting started
  • Module 1: Introduction to the ICF and the concept of functioning
  • Module 2: The importance of standardized assessment and reporting of functioning information

Week 2

  • Module 3: The Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study as an example of standardized assessment of functioning information guided by the ICF
  • Module 4: The Nottwil Standard as an example of standardized assessment of functioning information in clinical practice guided by the ICF

Week 3

  • Module 5: Interval-scaled reporting of functioning information
  • Module 6: NRP 74 StARS project part A
  • Module 7: NRP 74 StARS project part B
  • Closure and outlook

Weeks 4 and 5

  • Time to review the course materials
  • Final exam

Note: The specific modules will only become available in the designated week. Once the modules become available, they will remain available for the remainder of the course.


The ICF-StARS course was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation within the National Research Programme 74 "Smarter Health Care", (Project no. 21 "Enhancing continuous quality improvement and supported clinical decision making by standardized reporting of functioning" [Grant no.: 407440_167412/3]) and supported by Swiss Paraplegic Research and the University of Lucerne.


There are no pre-requisites for participating in this course.

Course Staff

A photo of Jsabel Hodel, one of the course instructors.

Jsabel Hodel

Jsabel Hodel holds a PhD in Health Sciences from the University of Lucerne and is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at Swiss Paraplegic Research in Switzerland. Her research focuses on the understanding of functioning and its courses during initial rehabilitation of persons with spinal cord injury in Switzerland. Moreover, she works on topics related to healthy ageing and the epidemiology of functioning.

A photo of Roxanne Maritz, one of the course instructors.

Roxanne Maritz

Roxanne Maritz holds a PhD in Health Sciences from the University of Lucerne and is the Coordinator of the Center for Rehabilitation in Global Health Systems at the University of Lucerne. Originally trained as an occupational therapist, she has a wide range of practical experience working with persons with a disability. Moreover, her research focuses on the standardization of functioning information in the field of rehabilitation.

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