This study tested the predictive validity of the Functional Capacities Evaluation (FCE), which included the following three components: a) a Medical History Review, b) a Client Activity Interview, and c) the Smith Physical Capacities Evaluation (SMITH-PCE) as the performance component. The FCE is used in conjunction with the Physical Demands and Environmental Conditions specified by the U.S. Department of Labor to predict a subject’s ability to return to work. The study used a random sample of 52 subjects. An employment questionnaire served as a criterion measure of predictive validity.

The data from the questionnaires were compared with predictions from the evaluations, and a lambdab test was applied to the data. Results suggested that for the sample analyzed, trained registered occupational therapists could use the FCE to predict a client’s ability to return to work more accurately.

The study was limited in that the sample used was drawn from clients seen in only one private practice and that only 42% of the questionnaires were returned.

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