Objective: To investigate and summarize the literature on the validation of International classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF) core sets from 2001 to 2019 and explore what research methods have been used when validating ICF core sets.
Methods: The current study is a scoping review using a structured literature search.
Results: In total, 66 scientific articles were included, of which 23 ICF core sets were validated. Most validation studies were conducted in Europe using a quantitative methodology and were validated from the perspective of patients. Analysis methods differed considerably between the studies, and most ICF core sets were validated only once for a single target population or from a single perspective. The comprehensive core sets were validated more often than the brief core sets, and core sets for stroke and low back pain were validated most often.
Conclusion: The results of the current study show that only 66% of the existing ICF core sets are validated. Many of the validation studies are conducted in a European context and from a single perspective. More validation studies of ICF core sets from the perspective of both patients and professionals are needed.