A systematic method of measuring an individual’s ability to perform meaningful tasks on a safe and dependable basis. FCE includes all impairments, not just those that result in functional limitations. In general, the purpose of FCE is to collect information about the functional limitations of a person with medical impairment. Beyond this general purpose, functional capacity evaluation has three specific purposes:
- Improve the likelihood that the patient will be safe in subsequent job task performance. Routinely, the comparison of a patient’s abilities to a job’s demands is made in an attempt to diminish the risk of re-injury that is associated with a mismatch. Numerous researchers point to the importance of properly matching the worker’s capacity to the job’s demands.
- Assist the patient to improve role performance through identification of functional decrements so that they may be resolved or worked around.
- Determine the presence and degree of disability so that a bureaucratic or juridicial entity can assign, apportion, or deny financial and medical disability benefits.
(Leonard Matheson, 2003)