Physician limitations when assessing work capacity: a review

David A. Fishbain, Tarek M. Khalil, Elsayed Abdel-Moty, Robert Cutler, Soha Sadek, Renee Steele Rosomoff, Hubert L. Rosomoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Literature evidence indicates that physicians have great difficulty in translating medical impairment into functional limitation and thereby establishing the work capacity or the residual functional capacity (RFC) of the injured worker. This is especially true for the chronic pain patient (CPP). Development of quantitative methods for the measurement of functional capacity (FC), have not improved the problems involved in the measurement of RFC and the translation of RFC into the demand minimum functional capacity (DMFC) of some job or jobs. The relationship between FC, RFC, work capacity and DMFC is reviewed. We have developed a method/battery for measuring RFC in CPPs utilizing the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) which is readily translatable into DMFC of some job or jobs. Suggestions are made for future directions in the measurement of work capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic pain
  • Functional capacity
  • Impairment
  • Injured worker
  • Residual functional capacity
  • Work capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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