What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

In the world of injuries, rehabilitation and disability claims, there are a lot of different terms that come into play.  Rehabilitation can involve many different types of assessments and exercises, schedules and planning, so there’s bound to be a lot to cover.  One term that’s used quite a lot is functional capacity evaluation.

The Definition

What is a functional capacity evaluation?  It’s an assessment designed to measure and objectively quantify a person’s ability to perform certain kinds of activities.  An FCE as it is known, measures an individual’s functional ability to perform both personal and occupational tasks.

Generally, a functional capacity evaluationconsists of a series of tests to measure things like gross dexterity, flexibility, walking ability, balance, lifting ability, bending, fine dexterity and more.

Why Do We Need Functional Capacity Evaluations?

A functional capacity evaluation may be ordered to help make a disability determination or to direct the rehabilitation of someone who has filed a claim.  The overriding reason is to collect information and then provide that information to the Worker’s Compensation Board, the employer, lawyer, insurance company or whoever has made the request.

Some of the specific scenarios where a functional capacity evaluation might be required include trying to establish whether someone can meet the physical requirements of their job, identifying overall abilities and limitations and directing rehabilitation efforts to return to work after an injury.

Different Components

A standard FCE might consist of a workplace simulation, musculoskeletal examination, clinical observation and evaluations to make the various determinations.  Some of the different components you might expect to encounter during a functional capacity evaluationinclude lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching and handling, climbing and balance, hand strength and dexterity and basic sitting, standing and walking.

How Long Does It Last?

The length of a functional capacity evaluation might vary depending on the testing body, but you can expect to give up a full 6 to 8 hours in most cases.  After the initial physical testing, there might be a follow-up interview the following day.  The testers are always looking for balance, and by spreading the testing out over an entire day, that balance is more likely to be achieved.

No one wants to be in the position where a functional capacity evaluation has to be performed, but if you are its always best to follow the directions closely and perform to the best of your abilities on each and every movement.  Keep in mind that insurance companies are often part of the equation, so following directions and performing the test honestly is important.

Chiro-Med can perform this type of assessment and other testing such as work-site assessments and in-home assessments. Contact us today to learn more about booking an evaluation for you or a family member.

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