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Functional Abilities Evaluations

 

Physical

What is a Physical Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE)? 

A physical Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE) or Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a comprehensive evaluation that yields objective data and measures the validity of an individual’s condition by testing muscular strength, range of motion, endurance, dexterity, sustained or repetitive activity tolerance, positional capacity and overall effort and level of cooperation. The FAE can be tailored to assess the specific demands of an individual’s previous job requirements or can be a general summary of an individual’s abilities. 


What is the purpose of a FAE?

A FAE can be used to define impairment levels and overall disability, measure an individual’s ability to safely complete work related tasks or participate in gainful employment, assist as a guideline for development of active rehabilitation or monitor the healing of an injury over time. The FAE can also determine which job modifications or restrictions are required to protect the individual’s current abilities and prevent future injury.


What is involved in a FAE?

Using objective, valid and reliable testing procedures, the FAE evaluates an individual’s ability to complete various functional tasks. The FAE may include activities such as lifting, carrying, bending, reaching, squatting, kneeling, pushing, pulling and finite tasks. Job specific tasks such as climbing, overhead weighted work or administrative work can also be included in testing. 


What is in the FAE report?

The FAE report includes a detailed and unbiased summary highlighting medical history and present conditions, objective clinical assessment of neuromuscular abilities, an individual’s overall level of effort and cooperation and the individual’s potential for rehabilitation. The report can provide reliable and valid data to support or refute an individual’s ability to complete their job demands. 


What is the length of a FAE?

A typical physical FAE can be completed over one or two days. The FAE takes (on average) 3 to 4 hours per day. A two day FAE is often selected to assess endurance over a multiple day period. 


Who will complete the FAE?  

The FAE is conducted by a qualified therapist with specialized certification and experience administering functional abilities evaluations. These therapists have the knowledge, skills and expertise required to assess physical and biomechanical function to effectively evaluate an individual’s abilities with regards to workplace requirements.


Cognitive

What is a Cognitive Functional Abilities Evaluation (CFAE)? 

A Cognitive Functional Abilities Evaluation is a comprehensive evaluation used to determine an individual’s functional based cognitive strengths and limitations. The CFAE yields objective data and measures the validity of an individual’s ability by focusing on assessment of work-related executive function. The CFAE is useful for individuals who have experienced stroke, brain injury, mental health issues or chronic pain conditions. 


What is the purpose of a CFAE?

A CFAE can be used to provide objective measurement of the individual’s general learning ability, concentration and attention, visual perception and processing, information processing, memory, multi-tasking, executive functioning, reasoning, communication, planning, organizing, and emotional status. The CFAE can also determine which job modifications or restrictions are required to promote the individual’s cognitive abilities. The CFAE will assist the evaluator in formulating opinions, conclusions, and recommendations regarding feasibility for employment, overall work capacity and return to work goals. 


What is involved in a CFAE? 

Using objective, valid and reliable testing procedures, the CFAE evaluates an individual’s ability to complete various functional tasks within the constraints of their cognitive abilities. The CFAE will involve an informal interview to glean information regarding past and present occupational history, cognitive screen and baseline measurements and general measures of cognition in occupation. 


What is in the CFAE report?

The CFAE report includes a detailed and unbiased summary highlighting medical history and present conditions, objective clinical assessment of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, an individual’s overall level of effort and cooperation and their potential for rehabilitation. The report can provide reliable and valid data to support or refute an individual’s ability to complete job demands. 


What is the length of a CFAE?

A typical CFAE can be completed in one or two days. Depending on an individual’s abilities the CFAE takes between (on average) 3 to 4 hours per day. 


What is the difference between a physical FAE and a cognitive FAE?

While traditional FAE protocols typically address physical disability and its effect on function, physical durability, and employability, they do not naturally accommodate for the broad range of cognitive and/or behavioural demands of employment that can be challenging for some individuals with brain injuries, mental health conditions or chronic pain. A CFAE can account for the physical, functional cognitive, perceptual/sensory, communicative, psycho-emotional and behavioural issues faced by individuals with these concerns.