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.