The I-CAN: Using e-Health to get People the Support they Need

Sam Ronald Charles Arnold, Vivienne Catherine Riches, Trevor Reginald Parmenter, Roger James Stancliffe


Background: The I-CAN is a comprehensive, reliable and valid system of identifying and classifying support needs of people with disabilities based on the conceptual framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AAIDD) supports concept. Originally developed for people with Developmental Disability, the I-CAN’s application of internet technologies is currently being trialled in Mental Health, Rehabilitation Medicine and other disciplines. Conceptual underpinnings, research and implementation to date are summarized. Method: ICF based domains covering Health & Well Being and Activities & Participation have been refined over several versions. A total of 1012 individuals with disabilities across the eastern states of Australia were assessed using the first three versions, and 193 with the fourth versions. Studies investigated reliability, concurrent and predictive validity and user satisfaction. A fourth internet-based version has been implemented and is under continuing investigation and refinement. Results: The I-CAN instrument demonstrated good reliability and validity in studies to date. Domain scales effectively discriminated a range of intensities of support for people with various disabilities, with highest support needs generally recorded by individuals with multiple disabilities and ageing issues. Correlations between I-CAN and adaptive behaviour scales were mixed. The I-CAN scales measure individual support needs. However, regression analysis suggests that staffing and other organizational factors play a significant role in resource allocation apart from individual support need. There was general satisfaction with the assessment process from stakeholders and participants groups. Several brief case examples shall be presented. Conclusions: The I-CAN provides a reliable and valid tool for assessing and reporting on the support needs of people with disabilities using a process that involves the person, their family, friends and staff as appropriate. Several possibilities exist for this unique tool and the application of the ICF framework to e-health.


ICF; Disability Evaluation; Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures; People with Disability; Electronic Health Records; Classification

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::::::::::::::  eJHI - electronic Journal of Health Informatics - ISSN 1446-4381  ::::::::::::::

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