Physical Capacity Evaluation (PCE)

Definition - What does Physical Capacity Evaluation (PCE) mean?

Physical capacity evaluation (PCE), also called functional capacity evaluation (FCE), is a battery of clinical tests used to assess musculoskeletal structures and their biomechanical fitness in conducting basic activities at home and/or work. In some cases, cognitive function also serves as a practical component in PCE rehabilitation treatment programs. Following a work-related injury, a patient can be referred to a PCE specialist to determine whether reinstatement to a former position is safe or assignment to a different occupation is necessary.

WorkplaceTesting explains Physical Capacity Evaluation (PCE)

Occupational therapists are experts who apply PCE rehabilitation methods in line with responsibilities and tasks connected with a particular job function. Distinct factors contribute to an individual’s ability to meet job demands in terms of performance level, physical endurance, flexibility, and speed. A physical capacity evaluation is a practical benchmark used in analyzing workplace environments, establishing general health and safety controls, and helping determine if job modifications to existing conditions are needed.

An occupational therapist collaborates with third parties including physicians, insurance companies, employers, lawyers, and other rehabilitative therapists in facilitating the recuperation process. PCE assessment incorporates various therapeutic modalities that gauge basic fine and gross motor skills including finger/hand dexterity, postural balance and coordination, mobility, and stamina. PCE report findings are weighed against the criteria for carrying out mandatory duties and tasks associated with a particular job. Documented feedback indicates the degree and extent to which an applicant and/or employee can fulfill a job role without jeopardizing themselves and/or other colleagues.

Patient progress dictates return to work status and, depending on the nature and conditions of the job, may call for light to moderate responsibilities while regaining optimum efficiency and productivity. Physical capacity evaluations can help employers determine the legitimacy of work-related injury cases where workers’ compensation claims impose financial drawbacks on companies.

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