Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)


Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)
Determining safe capabilities for injured workers.

We can help determine safe working capabilities by completing an objective FCE.
An FCE should be performed in any case where there is question of whether or not an injured worker can return to their time of injury job.

We have developed an excellent reputation as an FCE provider as a member of the WorkWell Quality Provider Program.

What is a Functional Capacity Examination (FCE)?
An FCE is a comprehensive objective test of an individual’s ability to perform work-related tasks. This test is performed one-on-one between the evaluator and the participant over the course of one or two days. It forms the medical basis for safe return-to-work and thus, is an integral part of workers’ compensation claims, as well as personal injury and automobile claims.

An FCE should be safe, reliable, have a measure of validity, be practical in its cost, and be useful in the information that it provides to all parties.

While there is standard protocol for both one and two day FCE’s, either test can add specific activities based on job requirements and/or specific requests from the referrer.

The WorkWell System

WorkWell developed the “Kinesiophysical” method which has been recommended world-wide. In this approach, the trained medical evaluator observes body movement and control, metabolic changes, pace, psychomotor and affective behavior in one comprehensive evaluation. Using this approach, maximum function is determined by observing physical efforts at low, medium and high levels of activity. During this progression, the evaluator observes early signs of fatigue which include: less coordinated movement, increased heart rate and respirations, and changes in body mechanics. When the participant reaches their maximum effort, there will be activation of accessory muscles, changes in body mechanics fatigue patterns, and the beginning of dysfunctional movement regarding weight bearing and balance.

Maximum function is defined as the greatest safe ability of the individual in terms of frequency, duration or weight load.

An FCE should be performed:
• Following opinion of maximum medical improvement in workers’ compensation cases.
• Upon completion of the Work START Program
• To determine RTW ability/status
• To determine Validity of effort in rehabilitation
• Upon the request of the medical provider, insurer, injured party or their representative.

Types of Validity
1. Valid – Indicates results are consistent with a valid effort and represent a safe working capability

2. Conditionally Valid – Indicates consistencies AND inconsistencies in the results. This means the results are a minimum of their capabilities – they may be able to do more due to an apparent “fear of activity.”

3. Invalid – Indicates a manipulated effort by the
client. We cannot comment on FCE results.

Our goal is to ensure the highest quality of care and a seamless transition for injured workers.