Adolescents with Hearing Loss and the International Classification of Functioning, Health, and Disability: Children & Youth Version

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In 2007, the World Health Organization published a set of International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) codes designed for children and youth (ICF-CY version). The ICF-CY considers typical developmental changes associated with childhood while describing health status and the effects of intervention. In this article we will describe how a specific intervention (transition planning for adolescents) can be documented with the ICF-CY. Transition planning in health care prepares adolescents and their families for the transfer from pediatric to adult health services and has been demonstrated to be an effective practice for adolescents with many types of chronic health conditions (e.g., cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, diabetes). Audiology has not yet addressed transition planning for adolescents with hearing loss; therefore, we propose using the ICF-CY to design a pathway of care. The ICF-CY can standardize transition planning to the benefit of both teen patients and audiologists: teens and their families would gradually acquire necessary knowledge and skills, and audiologists would develop a meaningful data set to help further inform our pediatric practices, as well as give more structure, depth, and accountability to our role in rehabilitation.

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