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Functional Capacity Evaluations Definition ("FCE")

Updated on May 28, 2011

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.

Industry Terms:

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.

Why not call Viewpoint Medical today at 1-888-505-0575 for a free consultation. Our best practices dictate top notch customer service and products (FCE reports). Find out how our expert assessors and company practices can best serve your employees and your bottom-line, while assisting in streamlining your companies health and safety program.

"Tools of the Trade" - Typical Equipment Used during Functional Capacity Evaluations

Click thumbnail to view full-size
ARCON EG Analog Goniometer - measures joint angles/range of motionARCON Static Strength Lifting PlatformARCON HD Hand Dynamometer - measures hand grip strengthARCON Dual Inclinometers - measures spinal range of motionARCON PG Pinch Force Gauge
ARCON EG Analog Goniometer - measures joint angles/range of motion
ARCON EG Analog Goniometer - measures joint angles/range of motion
ARCON Static Strength Lifting Platform
ARCON Static Strength Lifting Platform
ARCON HD Hand Dynamometer - measures hand grip strength
ARCON HD Hand Dynamometer - measures hand grip strength
ARCON Dual Inclinometers - measures spinal range of motion
ARCON Dual Inclinometers - measures spinal range of motion
ARCON PG Pinch Force Gauge
ARCON PG Pinch Force Gauge

FCE - Poll

Have you ever been assessed through a Functional Capacity Evaluation?

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