Functional Capacity EvaluationsWhat is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a way to evaluate an individual's physical capacities and functional abilities. The FCE matches your performance levels to the demands of your job, your work activity, or occupation. The FCE establishes the physical level of work you can do. The FCE helps in job placement, job accommodation, or returning to work after injury or illness. The FCE may be used:
- To determine your ability to safely return to work full-time or on modified duty
- To determine if you need work restrictions, job modifications, or reasonable accommodations to prevent further injury
- To determine which impairments you have, or your amount of physical disability for compensation purposes
The FCE assesses your flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, cardiovascular condition, and body mechanics. An effective FCE determines whether there is a match between your capabilities and the physical demands of work. Typically, an FCE focuses on a job goal rather than on your aptitudes, interests, and temperaments. Your psychosocial behaviors are assessed in relation to appropriate worker traits. There are two types of FCE:
- Baseline FCE -- An objective assessment of your physical abilities to perform tasks related to the physical demands of your work
- Job specific FCE - An evaluation of your physical abilities to function within the parameters of your job. The job specific FCE is based on critical physical demands of the essential functions of your job. Work simulation activities are often part of the evaluation.
A physical therapist trained to administer FCEs will evaluate you. The session lasts between 2 and 6 hours depending on your needs. You will fill out pain and function questionnaires, and complete physical tasks that have been selected by your therapist to best meet your needs. The FCE evaluator will analyze the data collected from your session to reflect the specific objective information regarding functional work ability in the determination of occupational disability status.Why Should I Have an FCE?
- If you have maximum medical improvement but continue to have issues related to re-injury and return to work.
- If you need quantification of your physical abilities to determine your disability status.
- If you need your function quantified before a job search and/or return to work.
- If you require quantification of your physical function for medical/legal reasons.
Case managers, physicians, nurse practitioners, state or local agencies, workers compensation, insurance companies, attorneys, or private payers can obtain a referral for an FCE. Once the referral has been made, an appointment can be scheduled for you.
7:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
(Appointments outside these hours are available upon request)
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Download the Center for Physical Rehabilitation Referral Form in PDF format here.