The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) has served a useful purpose with injured clients.  It provides attorneys with several benefits.  For attorneys, it provides the following:


  1. It gives objective data for the establishment of the settlements and disabilities.
  2. It clarifies those patients who are having behavioral problems.
  3. It can identify malingering or compensation fraud.


  1. It gives objective data for the establishment of better settlements and Disability Determination when organic impairment exists.
  2. It identifies behavioral problems including malingering or compensation fraud, so they can know which cases to settle quickly.
  3. Selecting the right FCE for your client is very important to achieve multiple benefits.


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At Lincoln Orthopedic Physical Therapy we feel we offer you the best selection for your FCE.  Here’s why:


THE EXAMINER:  What is their experience and training?  Jake DeNell, P.T., O.C.S. has been performing Functional Capacity Tests since 1986, performing over 3,000 Functional Capacity Tests for physicians, nurse case managers, employers, attorneys, insurance companies, as well as for Social Security Disability.

Most occupational therapists and physical therapists have only 2 to 3 hours of training to administer an FCE when graduating from school.  Post-graduate training is a necessity for Functional Capacity Evaluations.  Jake DeNell, P.T., O.C.S. has been board certified in orthopedic physical therapy since 1992.  He’s also completed post-graduate certification as a certified Functional Capacity Evaluator in 1992 and was credentialed as a Senior Disability Analyst and Diplomat by the American Board of Disability Analysts in 1995.  He has completed continued education from the American Academy of Disability of Evaluating Physicians on professional presentations to industrial workers, insurance companies, medical personnel, as well as nurse case managers regarding Functional Capacity Testing, prevention of work injuries, and Medical Impairment Ratings.  He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, North America Spine Society, and is recognized as a clinical expert in Functional Capacity testing.

FCE SYSTEM:  It’s important for the Functional Capacity Test to have equipment that produces standardized methods producing objective criteria and to provide legally defensible information.  The FCE system of the functional capacity method used at Lincoln Orthopedic Therapy is supported by an abundance of quality published research.  A number sincerity of effort evaluations are included in the FCE protocols including physiological responses of heart rate, strength curves, cross checks, as well as extensive testing for symptom magnification and inappropriate pain behaviors.  The Functional Capacity Evaluation provides a reliability profile to ensure results are reliable and can be used for medical and vocational planning.  The FCE determines whether or not the patient being tested is demonstrating a pattern of cooperation with the FCE process by not significantly exaggerating their symptoms, significantly exaggerating their disability, demonstrating non-organic signs.

Included in the FCE are the following:

Non-organic Signs:  thorough non-organic signs are findings based on tests performed as part of a clinical musculoskeletal examination.  These often strongly suggest that the patient is simply fabricating responses that they clearly do not have, and this can be only viewed as fraud in the clinical assessment process.   Waddell signs, Korbons for low back pain, Sopel for neck pain, stimulation tests and other placebo tests are used to determine the client’s non-organic signs.

Validity Testing:  The validity testing helps to determine whether or not the patient is exerting a sincere level of effort on functional tests.  Validity criteria actually tests the worker’s motivation to cooperate with the FCE process.

They are primarily based on repeat trial consistency of the test or a series of tests and the consistency between the 2 different types of tests.

THE FCE Report:  The FCE reports often can be 6 to 15 pages in length.  Our newly developed form gives the pertinent information in a more concise manner with the support documentation available at your request.  This streamline report easily identifies the 3 important tested areas of the Functional Capacity Test:

  • The test results with objective, reliable and safe working ability.
  • The client’s motivation during the testing process.
  • His/Her specific physical abilities and deficits.