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Functional Capacity Evaluation

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Our Functional Capacity Evaluation uses the internationally recognized Isernhagen Work Systems program as its cornerstone. The Isernhagen has had worldwide success 'In returning people to work and keeping them safe'. This system was developed by Isernhagen & Associates, Inc., a Duluth, Minnesota firm seeking to lower the risk of worker injury and its associated costs. This program allows us to offer the experience of an internationally successful rehabilitation program within our primary service area.

The Isernhagen Work Systems (IWS) Functional Capacity Evaluation is a physical test designed to measure an injured worker's abilities and then match those abilities to the specific tasks of a certain job. This is accomplished by having a worker perform various activities that simulate on-the-job work. The test, which combines the highest level of safety with objective findings, is a significant aid in developing an effective return-to-work program for an injured worker.
Using a unique approach to physical examination, our Functional Capacity Evaluation allows the worker to test for maximum objective strength without fear of injury.

The IWS Functional Capacity Evaluation at Northeast is a comprehensive and standardized two-day evaluation which defines a clients functional and physical abilities. This six hour evaluation measures maximum objective strength, determines a worker's tolerance levels to specific activities and describes those tasks that a worker could safely perform in an eight-hour day.

  • Evaluation Features
  • Measures the maximum objective strength of an individual.
  • Determines a worker's tolerance levels to specific activities.
  • Offers safety procedures that prevent injuries during the testing situation.
  • Includes 29 critical job tasks from workers' compensation forms and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
  • Describes those tasks that a worker could perform in an eight-hour day.
  • Links functional deficiencies with physical causes.
  • Can identify the difference between sub maximum and maximum efforts to rate cooperation and consistency.
  • Provides a very specific and objective informational report that includes observations, conclusions and recommendations.
  • The goal of our Functional Capacity Evaluation is to provide the individual, physician and employer with objective information for formulating a safe and appropriate return to work plan. Based on the individual's performance, recommendations are made regarding return to work, including any job modifications, or the need for continued rehabilitative services. When an individual does not have a job to return to, guidelines will be determined to assist in the search for vocational options.

    What Testing is Included?

    • DAY ONE
      • History, Physical Eval
      • Lifts
      • Push/Pull
      • Carries
      • Elevated Work
      • Forward Bending
      • Trunk Rotation

    One Day Testing: A modified FCE can be completed when a client is not deconditioned and the return to work is very straight forward.

    • DAY TWO
      • Lifts [repeat]
      • Crawl
      • Kneel
      • Crouch
      • Repetitive Squat
      • Hand grip, Hand coordination
      • Standing Tolerance
      • Stair Climbing
      • Balance
      • Walking
      • Client Conference


    IWS FCE's outcome studies have shown:

    • High return to work rate, even in chronic cases;
    • Worker agreement with test results;
    • A differentiation between pain and function;
    • Strong medical evidence to give physician clear information;
    • Empowerment of the worker to return to work;
    • Significant cost savings in medical costs and indemnity.


    We welcome any inquiries regarding our Functional Capacity Evaluation. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a Functional Capacity Evaluation, please contact: Northeast Rehab Hospital, Salem NH at (603) 890-7600 or NRH Woburn Clinic, Woburn, MA at (781) 938-6219.

    Last Updated: 03/07/01 | ©2000 Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network