Functional Capacity Evaluations

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“start where you are, use what you have and do what you can” (author unknown)

Do you or your client require an independent examination to determine the current safe level of functioning after an injury or accident?

If you or your client has sustained an injury and are in need of return to work planning, work modification suggestions, legal interpretation of the impact of injury and/or recommendations regarding ongoing rehabilitation, perhaps a functional evaluation would be useful. Leading Edge is pleased to provide comprehensive functional capacity evaluations (FCE) in Edmonton and St. Albert.

What is a Leading Edge Functional Capacity/Abilities Evaluation?

This type of evaluation assesses how a person is currently functioning in their daily life and allows us to estimate the type and amount of future care (if any) they will require as well as make return to work, fitness to work and work modification suggestions.  We assess how their injury affects their daily living in both their personal and professional spheres.  We are able to individualize each assessment to gain the best understanding of how the client is limited and identify what their safe level of functional ability is.

A functional capacity evaluation is an objective evaluation consisting of a musculoskeletal examination and a series of specific functional tasks that gauge what a person is safely able to do post-injury.  We use subjective questionnaires and continually assess consistency throughout the assessment process.  We are able to detect consistency of effort and identify barriers to recovery.  Our assessment looks at how the individual responds to tasks such as lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, repetitive type activities and fine motor tasks.  Finally our testing is adjusted to specific activities in which the client feels they are currently limited and those that may not be captured in generic functional testing.   We offer one or two day assessments, depending on the complexity of the client’s injury and the information required by their insurer/employer or lawyer.

We are able to:

  • Assess an individual’s physical tolerances related to strength, endurance, speed and flexibility.
  • Determine a persons unique ability to perform work and routine daily activities.
  • Use a systemized approach with reliable and valid evaluation instruments.
  • Complete the assessment to gain insight into an individual’s ability to return to work post-accident, or current level of functioning post-injury.

Leading Edge Physiotherapy has a collaborative approach to our functional capacity evaluations.  We have a team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists working together to gain insight into each client’s injury and the effect it has had on them.  We go beyond assessing function and ascertain the reasons for the functional limitation.  If required we also gain information from outside sources such as physicians and other health care professionals who have worked with the client.  We take the opportunity to provide not only limitations but specifically identify abilities as well.  Our assessment is able to not only identify what functions the person is having difficulty with, but also identifies the reason for it.  This ensures we can provide a well-rounded and comprehensive report that offers data which may provide direction regarding not only their present status but future options and care if needed.

We work closely with the client’s referrer to ensure both the referrer’s and client’s needs are met.  We strive to have minimal wait times and provide our reports within 10 business days of the assessment.

Our testing includes a review of medical documentation, subjective assessments, an intensive interview with the client, and objective testing.  A combination of standardized tests and work/activity simulation is used to identify function.

Following testing a report is completed which includes the client’s current functional abilities and limitations.  The report can aid in determining a clients: ability to return to their pre-injury occupation; residual functional abilities and limitations related to work, leisure and household activity; and future rehabilitation needs.  Conclusions are also made regarding the client’s level of physical effort during testing and the consistency of their subjective reports of pain and disability in comparison to objective test results.

A cost of Future Care Evaluation may also be requested in combination with a Functional Capacity Evaluation for efficiency and cost effectiveness to the referral source.

It is important for clients to note for their Functional Capacity Evaluation that they should:

  • Wear comfortable clothes: bring running shoes, wear shorts and a t-shirt and any adaptive aids (ie. Knee brace) currently used.
  • Do not change medication regimen prior to testing.
  • No caffeine or cigarettes one hour prior to testing.
  • Bring a light snack and water bottle as testing may go for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Please simply download and print the attached form
  • Email or fax the form to the contact information on the form

Functional Services First Contact Form

The fees of our evaluations are determined on a case by case basis. Several factors go into determining the cost of the assessment. These include:

  1. Duration of the assessment (1 day vs. 2 day)
  2. Inclusion of experts as deemed necessary (i.e. vestibular FCE)
  3. Access to a jobs demands analysis
  4. Opinions requested from the results of the assessment (i.e. medical legal opines)

As there are many factors that go into the assessment procedure, we recommend that you contact our occupational therapist directly to ascertain the cost of the assessment. Upon first contact, a quote will be provided based on the specific requirements that a referrer may have.

Our typical time between referral and assessment is 7-14 days. The time is often dependant on the schedule of the client.