Rehab Model of Consequences of Pathology (based on the World Health Organization):
disease/disorder/pathology: These target the medical problem, e.g. a sickness or ailment. (These are often classified by medical profession, and a pathology is the study of disease and disorders.)
impairment: A loss or abnormality of structure or function at the organ level. We commonly speak of "functional impairments" or "dysfunction" of a part of (or system within) the body.
disability: Restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in a manner considered normal, manifested in the performance of daily tasks; the functional consequences of impairments. Rehab engineers and other rehab practitioners often focus on enhancing abilities so as to minimize disability.
handicap: A disadvantage resulting from an impairment or disability, that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal for the affected individual. The nature and severity are determined by the adaptation of the person to social and environmental surroundings, and societal adjustments to accommodate the impaired individual; handicaps often center on a lack of independence (physical, economic).
Copyright by Jack Winters.