The purpose of the study is to explore the utility of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) when assessing caregivers' perceptions of interaction and factors related to interaction in non-speaking children with disability.
A questionnaire with focus on interaction and related factors was constructed by linking questions in existing instruments to ICF and was completed by 208 professionals and parents of 195 non-speaking children with disabilities in Russia. Caregivers' descriptions of interaction in open-ended questions were qualitatively analysed and compared to selected caregivers' ratings of children's functioning and environment in the questionnaire based on ICF.
In the open-ended questions about interaction the caregivers described modes of communication children used, situations in which interactions took place, positive and negative aspects of interactions. Thirty eight respondents described interaction with children negatively, 66 neutrally, and 76 positively. Statistical analyses revealed significant differences among the three groups of respondents concerning their ratings of children's functioning and environment in the ICF-based questionnaire.
The ICF-related items in the questionnaire corresponded to caregivers' perceptions of interaction, which shows their relevance for the description of interactions. ICF is feasible in describing of interaction and interaction-related factors in non-speaking children with disabilities in Russia.