Functional capacity evaluations for the prevention of occupational re-injuries in injured workers

Functional capacity evaluation (FCE) is a method to assess physical capacity to perform certain tasks. It is believed that FCE can prevent re-injury if injured workers are assessed before they return to work and get proper recommendations on how to perform work tasks.
We found no studies that compared workers given FCE to workers given no intervention to evaluate the effectiveness in preventing re-injury of FCE. We found one RCT involving 372 injured workers that compared a short version of the FCE to an extensive version in which more bodily functions were tested. The short-form FCE produced a 43% reduction in physical assessment time. However, there was no difference between the two forms of FCE in terms of prevention of recurrence of occupational injuries. We therefore concluded that there is no evidence for or against the effectiveness of the length of the FCE in ensuring that those who do return will not suffer an injury relapse.

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