Functional Capacity Evaluations Definition ("FCE")
Functional Capacity Evaluations
According to Roy Matheson & Associates Program, a Functional Capacity Evaluation is defined as "an intensive, short-term (usually one day) evaluation that focuses on major physical tolerance abilities related to musculoskeletal strength, endurance, speed and flexibility."
Matheson asserts that an FCE is a "systematic approach" which dictates selecting and using evaluation tools and methods whose reliability and validity have been determined through peer-reviewed research. He further states that these research results be accessible within the public domain (i.e. published research journals). The term functional capacity evaluation or FCE is considered a generic term - one that often has different meanings to different individuals based upon the fundamental questions or concerns of the referral source, often the person or parties that request such as test.
The term, "Functional Capacity Evaluation" if often abbreviated as "FCE" by many human resource managers, disability management specialists or industry personnel. In layperson terms, the term FCE if often used interchangeably with other well-known or accepted versions of the term FCE. One of the most popular terms is the "Functional Abilities Evaluation", abbreviated as FAE or the lesser used "Functional Capacity Assessment" or FCA.
There are also many other, older and less used, forms of the FCE term such as the "Work Tolerance Screening", which gained early acceptance in the late 1970s. In the mid 1980s, the term "Work Capacity Evaluation" or WCA began to come more widely accepted and used within the industry with Leonard Matheson's published work, Work Capacity Evaluation: Systematic Approach to Industrial Rehabilitation" in 1987.
Understanding and properly utilizing functional capacity evaluations is integral to empowering injured workers and patients to returning to gainful employment while assisting personnel within the disability management spectrum of professional with timely, goal-oriented functional data with respect to matching workers and job descriptions.
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