Importance of Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)
- They provide objective, detailed information about an individual’s physical capabilities, and/or workplace injures & illnesses
- They can determine when a worker is able to return to work after an injury
- They can determine whether a worker will be able to perform their duties at full capacity or if they will need to work in a reduced capacity (i.e. with limitations)
- They can help prevent re-injury or additional workplace injuries
Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) Assessment
The components of the FCE will vary based on the purpose of the assessment. The FCE typically begins with a client interview, medical record review, and musculoskeletal screening. Functional testing may include graded material-handling activities such as lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling; and positional tolerance activities such as sitting, standing, walking, balancing, reaching, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, object handling/manipulation, fingering, hand grasping, and hand manipulation. Pain monitoring is frequently performed during the FCE to document client-reported levels of pain during various activities as well as to manage pain. The FCE may also include evaluation of an individual’s hand dexterity, hand coordination, endurance, and other job-specific functions.