A FCEs primary purpose is to determine individual’s functional abilities and limitations in the context of a safe environment while focusing on productive work tasks.
The service we provide is a valuable tool in assessing an employee’s safe working abilities and/or establishing baseline abilities for disability evaluations. Our FCE correlates a client’s functional abilities to the essential physical demands of their job to determine whether they meet these physical demands. Consistency of effort and reliability of pain ratings are important elements of our evaluation, which is why over 70 separate criteria throughout the FCE help determine if a client is putting forth consistent effort and whether their subjective pain ratings are reliable. Additionally, the Functional Capacity Evaluation testing method we use has consistently stood up in a court of law with reliability and validity research to support the testing method.
The components of the FCE will vary based on the purpose of the assessment. The evaluation generally consists of four parts
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. The FCE report includes an overall physical demand level, a summary of job-specific physical abilities, a summary of performance consistency and overall voluntary effort, job match information, adaptations to enhance performance, and treatment recommendations, if requested. Some FCEs are designed to also report on the worker’s ability to meet the cognitive demands of the job in question.
FCEs are done on a one-on-one basis and may range in length from 3 to 4 hours.