Functional capacity and residual functional capacity and their utility in measuring work capacity

E. Abdel-Moty, D. A. Fishbain, T. M. Khalil, S. Sadek, R. Cutler, R. S. Rosomoff, H. L. Rosomoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective: The pain physician is often asked to establish the medical impairment of the chronic pain patient (CPP) and from that determination ascertain the work capacity of the CPP. Functional capacity (FC) testing has recently been introduced as a more objective and accurate way of facilitating the determination of work capacity. However, there are conceptual problems with the measurement of FC. These will be reviewed and the relationship of FC to residual functional capacity (RFC) will be determined. Finally, a method for measuring RFC in a job-specific manner will be suggested. Data Sources: The literature in reference to the measurement of medical impairment, FC, and RFC was reviewed. Study Selection: Studies appropriate to the objective of this review were selected for inclusion. Conclusions: The FC and RFC are poorly defined. Lack of definition has interfered with design of appropriate test batteries specific to work capacity. To circumvent this problem a job- specific RFC measurement method is suggested. This method is based on the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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