Physician limitations when assessing work capacity: A review

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 utilizingthe 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 workcapacity.

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


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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