Original Article

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health

, Volume 82, Issue 9, pp 1087-1096

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Effect of Functional Capacity Evaluation information on the judgment of physicians about physical work ability in the context of disability claims

  • Haije WindAffiliated withAcademic Medical Center, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, University of Amsterdam Email author 
  • , Vincent GouttebargeAffiliated withAcademic Medical Center, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, University of Amsterdam
  • , P. Paul F. M. KuijerAffiliated withAcademic Medical Center, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, University of Amsterdam
  • , Judith K. SluiterAffiliated withAcademic Medical Center, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, University of Amsterdam
  • , Monique H. W. Frings-DresenAffiliated withAcademic Medical Center, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, University of Amsterdam

Abstract

Purpose

To test whether Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) information lead insurance physicians (IPs) to change their judgment about the physical work ability of claimants with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Methods

Twenty-seven IPs scored twice the physical work ability of two claimants for 12 specified activities, using a visual analogue scale. One claimant performed an FCE, the other served as a control. Outcome measure was the difference between experimental and control group in number of shifts in the physical work ability for the total of 12 specified activities.

Results

The IPs changed their judgment about the work ability 141 times when using FCE information compared to 102 times when not using this information (P-value = 0.001), both in the direction of more and less ability.

Conclusions

The IPs change their judgment of the physical work ability of claimants with MSDs in the context of disability claim procedures more often when FCE information is provided.

Keywords

Functional Capacity Evaluation Disability claim Physical work ability Musculoskeletal disorders