Objectives. Terms referring to social functioning, together with concepts and definitions of social disability are discussed in the paper
Background. In the contemporary definition of health not only physical and mental health, but also social wellbeing of the individual are included. Thus, a need arises for an assessment of this sphere of life. Besides, interventions that would improve the patient's functioning in the community should be introduced in the therapeutic process. Attention is drawn to discrepancies between medical and legal definitions of disability and to the necessity of disability assessment criteria unification. Instruments for the measurement of social functioning disorders (useful in clinical, not only psychiatric practice) are briefly outlined.
Conclusions. Importance of the problem of social disability in people with mental disorders is emphasized, as well as the necessity of including social skills training in medical treatment standards.