Functional information is gathered by assessment with a variety of tests, which are objective and standardized, and most of the tests have normative data for comparison. The therapist develops the flow and the content of the assessment based on the purpose of the assessment (i.e. referral question (s)). Specific functional information obtained in an FCE includes:
- Strength rating per the NOC/DOT (lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling)
- Postural tolerances for work (sitting, standing, stooping)
- Body dexterity (kneel, crouch, crawl, low level work, overhead reaching etc,)
- Reaching, handling and dexterity tolerances
- Simulated work situations to mimic the worker’s job demands (i.e. driving, shoveling, clerical tasks)
- Cardiovascular fitness and endurance for full time work tasks
The worker’s functional profile is then compared to the demands of the specific job. If requested, information to increase function for work tasks is provided such as equipment supports, gradual return to work programs etc.
Specific questions from the fee payer are helpful prior to the FCE.