Also known as a physical capacity evaluation (PCE), functional capacity assessment (FCA), work capacity evaluation (WCE), or informally as “functional testing.”

An intensive short-term (usually one-day) evaluation that focuses on major physical tolerance abilities related to musculoskeletal strength, endurance, speed, and flexibility. FCE is not only a useful clinical tool, but also a baseline for industry-standard results that clearly define an individual’s transition from injury to employment, and from disability to deployment.

Key factors: A skilled FCE utilizes a battery of standardized tests designed around key factors: diagnosis, impairment, pain and functional limitation, referral questions, and in some instances the case resolution goal. The value to the injured individual is the focus on functional ability instead of the pain limitation associated with an impairment. It considers speed, flexibility, endurance, skill, and strength through the use of functional testing, MTM, and standardized measurements to assess job-fit status.

Purpose: To 1) collect reliable information about current functional and vocational status and 2) estimate potential functional and vocational status. This dual approach is a hallmark of the Matheson philosophy. Case resolution purposes may be used to establish level of impairment (lowest-level use of an FCE), as a disability evaluation, for compromise and release, or for medical-legal purposes (highest use of an FCE).
 

  • Transition injured workers from disability to function and employment. Used by physicians, case managers, and employers, FCE is the single most reliable measure to determine whether a successful return to work is possible. It is inherently a thorough and accurate evaluation process, documenting an individual’s residual physical abilities, level of effort expended during testing, reliability of reports of pain, and limitation.
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  • Vocational rehabilitation settings. Here, FCE results are typically used to develop return-to-work plans either as the basis of an offer of alternative employment or as the foundation for a feasibility development plan (work-focused rehabilitation). results are a sound framework for developing a temporary alternative duty plan.
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  • Military setting. FCE results are used to evaluate progress as the injured soldier transitions back to the force in the usual and customary military occupational specialty (MOS) or to measure physical ability to reintegrate into a new specialty. It can also be used in preparation for a medical evaluation board or in transition from active duty to Veterans Administration services.
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  • A bridge from impairment to recovery. FCE is an important bridge from the impairment phase of medical evaluation to the disability recovery phase. While it provides documentation of impairment, it is best suited to the evaluation and amelioration of disability. Providing a means for a shift from the disability to vocational feasibility construct is an attainable goal with the use of FCE.

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“This Ergonomics Evaluation Certification Program is extremely valuable. Dr. LaCourse is an excellent instructor with years of hands-on experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in reducing cumulative trauma disorders.”

“Also, I just completed my very first FCE today……. And it was AWESOME!!! I could hear you talking in the back of my head the whole time! Very exciting!! Thanks for such a great learning experience!”

“I was so impressed with my entire Matheson experience.”

“As a provider of FCEs for 12-plus years, I have been through several training programs. I would recommend Matheson without reservation. Thanks to your training, my staff is the best prepared in my area. It has made a difference for my business and has set us ahead of our competition.”

“Far and away the best certification course I have attended in my seven-year professional career. The instructors are knowledgeable and apply all of the information to real-world scenarios. Thank you!”

This Ergonomics Evaluation Certification Program is extremely valuable. Dr. LaCourse is an excellent instructor with years of hands-on experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in reducing cumulative trauma disorders.”

“Of all the FCE training I have received, Matheson is the most evidence-based. I like that it is a battery of standardized tests, and not a standard battery of tests. It also requires thinking as an evaluator, unlike other programs that don’t allow you to consider any non-quantitative factors, which results in an opinion of functional capacity lacking in external validity. The Matheson FCE makes the most of what is available right now.”

“The Amended ADA Webinar was outstanding and I really appreciate your willingness to do them.  You have gotten to the heart of the matter in the “gray areas” that people have familiarity with, but are not comfortable discussing.  I treasure every one of these webinars.  They have helped me be a better evaluator and allowed me to speak intelligently to our employers and other referral sources.”

“I just wanted to e-mail you and let you know that I found this webinar to be extremely helpful to me in my position as an the on site PT manager. In my opinion your webinar provided excellent information about the ADA issues we may face and invaluable advice to avoid legal pitfalls related to our work site analysis and testing procedures.”

“We are utilizing the Matheson philosophy not only for Functional Capacity Evaluation, but also for the foundation of interdisciplinary treatment of chronic pain patients at our clinic in Waltham MA, Boston PainCare. The culture of function is throughout all of our departments, interventional, functional rehabilitation, medication management, sleep, and behavioral.
Spending the week training for FCEs in Keene, NH was very exciting as it allowed me to know that we are not only on the…”

The instructors did an excellent job of breaking down the complex concepts into the most simple and understandable pieces of information. My folders of countless papers from various sources, both online and off, have been consolidated into one well-laid out reference book!

Thank you for having the Essential Function Job Analysis course available. I have been doing job analyses and post offer test formulation at my company for 8 years now and this course taught me that we need to (and will) make some adjustments to our procedures to better defend any possible legal challenges. That means a great deal to me as a business owner.

“Your webinars have made me a better evaluator and allowed me to speak intelligently to our employers and other referral sources.”

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