OBJECTIVE. We examined the predictive validity of a job-specific functional capacity evaluation (FCE) in relation to the return to work of patients with a distal radius fracture.

METHOD. Return-to-work recommendations for 194 participants with a distal radius fracture were based on FCE performance. Three months after the evaluation, participants were contacted to ascertain their employment status to examine the predictive validity of each FCE-based rating.

RESULTS. The recommendation return to previous job (94.83%) was correct more often than the recommendations do not work at the moment (60.47%), change job (52.63%), and return to previous job with modifications (9.38%). A longer period from injury to FCE and compensable injury reduces the predictive ability of job-specific FCE.

CONCLUSION. Job-specific FCE shows a better predictive validity in relation to the return to work of patients with a specific injury, such as a distal radius fracture, than of patients with a nonspecific injury.

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