Glossary of terms

As defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, activity is the performance of a task or action by an individual. Activity limitations are difficulties in performance of activities. These are also referred to as function.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
Basic tasks that involve bodily issues (bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, eating, and walking) that are done on a daily basis.
Body Functions
As defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, body functions are the physiological or psychological functions of body systems (nervous, musculoskeletal, digestive or respiratory and circulatory systems). Impairments are problems in body function such as significant deviation in function or loss.
Body Structures
As defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, body structures are anatomical parts of the body such as organs, limbs and their components. Impairments are problems in body structures as a significant deviation in structure or loss.
Clinical Practice Guideline
Systematically developed descriptive tools or standardized specifications for care to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances. Practice guidelines are typically developed through a formal process and are based on authoritative sources, including clinical literature and expert consensus
Illness involving the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood or a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with a depressive disease cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression.
Environmental Factors
As defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, environmental factors make up the physical, social and attitudinal environment in which people live and conduct their lives.
Functional ambulation
The ability to walk, with or without the aid of appropriate assistive devices (such as canes or walkers), safely and sufficiently to carry out mobility-related activities of daily living (ADLs).
The pattern of walking, which is often characterized by elements of progression, efficiency, stability and safety.
Hypertrophic Scar
Is a red, raised, rigid scar that may result after a deep dermal injury. Microscopically is characterized by a thickened epidermis and a dermis with abnormal collagen organization, abnormal levels of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, and altered cell types and/or quantities.
Problem in body function or structures such as significant deviation or loss.
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)
Classification system setup by the World Health Organisation, portrays how people live with their condition in relation to the Body Functions and Structures, Activities and Participation in daily life. ICF website
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)
Complex tasks that involve social or societal issues (shopping, bill paying, cooking, housework, etc) that are done on a regular basis.
Method in which the results of two or more studies are statistically combined. Typically used when studies have few subjects, but similar designs. By increasing the available number of subjects, more weight can be given to the findings.
Fibroblasts that have features characteristically associated with smooth muscle cells (Majno G, Gabbiani G, et al. 1971). Identified by positive staining with a monoclonal antibody that binds to alpha - smooth muscle actin isoform.
Normal Scar
A dermal injury that heals without becoming red, raised, or rigid when compared to normal skin.
Orthotic Intervention (splinting)
The provision of an orthoses that reduces impairment and/or enables the burn survivor to participate in a desired activity. It involves identifying and addressing the occupational and biological needs of the individual.
Orthosis (splint)
A prefabricated or custom-made device applied to the body. An orthosis alters forces on biological structures to favorably influence their nutrition, length, strength, mobility, and/or stability to ultimately promote participation of the burn survivor in their chosen occupations. Plural: Orthoses (pronounced or-tho-seas).
As defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, participation is an individual's involvement in life situations in relation to Health Conditions, Body Functions or Structures, Activities, and Contextual Factors. Participation Restrictions are problems an individual may have in the manner or extent of involvement in life situations.
Pressure Therapy
Pressure therapy involves the application of either ready-to-wear or custom-fabricated pressure garments or devices made out of a variety of elasticised fabrics or other materials (i.e. foam, elastomer inserts, thermoplastic materials, etc.). These garments or devices may be used individually or in combination with the goal being to prevent or minimize the formation of hypertropic scar.
Quality of Life (QoL)
The value assigned to duration of life as modified by the impairments, functional states, perceptions and opportunities influenced by disease, injury, treatment and policy. (Patrick DL, Erickson P. 1988).
Quasi-experimental design
A study in which subjects typically receive differing treatments and outcomes are then compared. No randomization is done in the assignment of treatment groups.
Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
Typically, experimental design in which subjects are randomly assigned to a treatment group, or to a control (no treatment or alternative treatment) group. Effects of the experimental treatment are then compared statistically to results from control treatment to determine effectiveness.
Scar Contracture
The shrinkage of a healed scar.
Refer to Orthosis.
Systematic Review
A systematic review is a summary of available research on a given topic that compares studies based on design and methods. It summarizes the findings of each, and points out flaws or potentially confounding variables that may have been overlooked. A critical analysis of each study is done in an effort to rate the value of its stated conclusions. The research findings are then summarized, and a conclusion is provided.
Wound Contraction
The mechanism by which the edges of an open wound are drawn together as a result of force within the wound itself.