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Validating the Functional Capacity Index: A Comparison of Predicted versus Observed Total Body Scores

Schluter, Philip J. BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD; Neale, Rachel BVSc, PhD; Scott, Deborah Dip Nurs, MPH; Luchter, Stephen BS; McClure, Roderick J. MB BS, PhD

The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: February 2005 - Volume 58 - Issue 2 - p 259-263
doi: 10.1097/01.TA.0000154283.88208.9C
Original Articles

Background: The Functional Capacity Index (FCI) was designed to predict physical function 12 months after injury. We report a validation study of the FCI.

Methods: This was a consecutive case series registered in the Queensland Trauma Registry who consented to the prospective 12-month telephone-administered follow-up study. FCI scores measured at 12 months were compared with those originally predicted.

Results: Complete Abbreviated Injury Scale score information was available for 617 individuals, of whom 587 (95%) could be assigned at least one FCI score (range, 1–17). Agreement between the largest predicted FCI and observed FCI score was poor (κ = 0.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.00–0.10) and explained only 1% of the variability in observed FCI. Using an encompassing model that included all FCI assignments, agreement remained poor (κ = 0.05; 95% confidence interval, −0.02–0.12), and the model explained only 9% of the variability in observed FCI.

Conclusion: The predicted functional capacity poorly agrees with actual functional outcomes. Further research should consider including other (noninjury) explanatory factors in predicting FCI at 12 months.

From the School of Population Health, University of Queensland (P.J. S., D.S., R.J.M.), and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (R.N.), Queensland, Australia.

Submitted for publication September 29, 2003.

Accepted for publication February 20, 2004.

Supported by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission and Queensland Health.

Address for reprints: Philip Schluter, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston QLD 4006, Australia; email:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.