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Development and Validation of the ICF-IAF, a patient-oriented Questionnaire for Urinary and/ or Faecal Incontinence


Until now, questionnaires to survey people with urinary and/or faecal incontinence have concentrated primarily on symptoms and problems, but not the holistic situation of the people affected. However, for therapeutic support and scientific analysis a patient -oriented assessment is needed that captures the positive and negative factors influencing incontinence.


According to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the WHO, an assessment tool should be developed that investigates body functions, body structures, activity and participation, as well as environmental factors. The already more than 100 existing translations of the ICF allowed, after the development of the first version, a rapid world-wide deployment.

Methods and Procedures

  1. Systematic analysis of previous questionnaires on urinary and/or faecal incontinence with the highest degree of recommendation (completed)
  2. A 3-round Delphi survey among 262 specialist physiotherapists from Germany, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland (completed)
  3. Focus group interviews with afflicted males and females (completed)
  4. Individual interviews with afflicted males and females from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (completed)
  5. Consensus conference on 17th November 2017 with representatives from the physiotherapy associations of the above mentioned counties to develop the first version of the ICF-IAF incontinence form (completed)
  6. International and multi-professional validation, as well as the development of a software and user manual (in planning)



The subprojects 1-5 are completed. At the consensus conference on 17th November, 2017 the first version of the incontinence form ICF-IAF was approved.

Project Organisation

Publications and reports

ZHAW publication database