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The Predictive Validity of Job-Specific Functional Capacity Evaluation on the Employment Status of Patients With Nonspecific Low Back Pain.

Cheng, Andy Shu-Kei PhD; Cheng, Stella Wai-Chee PDOT

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 7 - pp 719-724
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181e48d47
Original Articles

Objectives: To examine the predictive validity of a job-specific functional capacity evaluation (FCE) on the employment status of patients with nonspecific low back pain (LBP).

Methods: Seven hundred and thirteen patients with nonspecific LBP received job-specific FCE. Based on their performance, return-to-work recommendations were given. Three months after evaluation, all patients were contacted by telephone to find out their employment status to examine the predictive validity of each FCE-based rating.

Results: The correct prediction of employment status from an FCE pass rating was 79.8%; fail rating because of not meeting all the criteria of FCE tasks was 61.7%; and fail rating because of failing all FCE tasks was 68.4%.

Conclusions: Job-specific FCE shows a high level of predictive validity that could be used to evaluate the employment status of patients with nonspecific chronic LBP.

From the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (Dr Shu-Kei Cheng), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong; and Department of Occupational Therapy (Ms Wai-Chee Cheng), The Princess Margaret Hospital, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Address correspondence to: Andy Shu-Kei Cheng, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong; E-mail: andy.cheng@polyu.edu.hk.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine