Purpose: What can the person SAFELY perform in terms of function on a daily basis?
A physical capacity evaluation takes several hours, and consists of a head to toe standardized test aimed at determining the person’s ability to perform functional tasks on a daily basis as well as make a determination about consistency and reliability of the patient’s effort. PCE can be an important factor in determining a patient’s ability to return to a job of injury, determine if the patient has the ability to perform tasks associated with a new occupation, or define a patient’s level of functional disability.
History current and past
- Surgical procedures – spinal fusion, rotator cuff repair, knee scope, etc.
- Major illness-diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
- ROM of all major joints
- Muscle testing of all major muscle groups
- Lifting: floor to waist, waist to shoulder, shoulder to overhead
- Push/Pull: with electronic dynamometer
- Carry 50 feet: front and both sides
- 30 minute treadmill walking test
- Sitting 30 minutes during paperwork
- Standing throughout test
- Fine motor: Purdue Peg Board
- Positional Tolerance
- Multiple average trials
- Wadell’s tests-Non-organic symptoms at the low back
- Consistency between similar tests
Physical Demand Levels
- Occasionally lifting up to 10 pounds
- Sitting most of the time, but may involve standing and walking for brief periods of time
- Occasionally lifting up to 20 pounds
- Frequently lifting up to 10 pounds
- Involves significant periods of sitting, standing, and walking
- May require push/pull and foot/hand controls
- Occasionally lifting up to 50 pounds
- Frequently lifting 10-25 pounds
- Standing and walking frequently/constantly
- Occasionally lifting up to 75 pounds
- Frequently lifting 50 pounds
- Constantly lifting 10-20 pounds
- May involve awkward positions such as kneeling/crawling/bending etc.
- Will physical therapy likely improve the patient’s function to the point where they are able to perform a higher level of physical demand?
- What treatments have the patient had in the past?
- Will the patient be compliant with treatment?
- Does this client need to be referred to another healthcare professional
- Primary Care
If appropriate for physical therapy
- Measurable goals
- Timeline for treatment
- Documented progress
- Initial evaluation
- Monthly progress notes
- Discharge note
Example of treatment recommendation
- Pt will be seen 2x/week for 6 weeks
- Pt will be able to walk at 3.0 mph for 30 minutes within 6 weeks
- Pt will be able to lift 50# floor to waist without pain or substitution within 6 weeks
- Pt will be able to perform ten 8” step downs without pain within 6 weeks
How to refer for a PCE
- Call us with patient info
- Name, phone #, address
- Specific medical issues
- Specific job analysis assists with return to job likelihood determination
- Contact us about specific job requirements