Assessment of standing in Functional Capacity Evaluations: An exploration of methods used by a sample of occupational therapists

Anna Nicholls*, Libby Gibson, Kryss McKenna, Marion Gray, Trish Wielandt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The primary aim of the study was to explore the current practice of occupational therapists when assessing standing performance during Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs). Methods: A semi-structured interview was conducted with occupational therapists and the participants were interviewed using both open and closed questions. Participants: A sample of occupational therapists (n=20) from Queensland, Australia were involved in a survey. They were all experienced in conducting FCEs. Results: Ninety percent of the respondents used a distracting task during the assessment of standing with standardised and non-standardised nuts and bolts assembly tasks the most commonly used. Respondents reported using a mix of biophysical, physiological and psychophysical clinical observations to assess standing. The nuts and bolts assembly activities used by the respondents were rated to be of low interest in terms of engaging the client. Conclusions: It was identified there are minimal guidelines in the literature which focuses on assessment of standing in FCEs. Questions were raised regarding the adequacy of the use of nuts and bolts activities as a suitably distracting task in FCEs and further research is required on assessing standing in functional capacity evaluation including the use of suitably distracting activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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