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J Occup Rehabil. 2013 Dec;23(4):513-5. doi: 10.1007/s10926-013-9425-1.

Developing research on performance-based functional work assessment: report on the first international functional capacity evaluation research meeting.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for Rehabilitation, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 30.002, 9750, RA, Haren, The Netherlands,



Research on Performance-Based Work Assessment, also known as Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), has evolved substantially over the past decades. Although this field of research has developed, the use of FCE has been an object of discussion and debate internationally. Unfortunately, there has been no platform or infrastructure available for FCE researchers to present their research, discuss, and collaborate.


An International FCE Research Meeting was held in Haren, The Netherlands on October 25, 2012, with 48 participants from eight countries. The meeting consisted of presentation of new research, two debates, and an open discussion that aimed at creating an overview of gaps in research as identified by the participants.


The discussion resulted in the identification of 17 research needs, which are listed in this paper. Important categories were: further validation of FCE across settings, jurisdictions and patient groups; additional impact and cost-effectiveness evaluation of FCE compared to alternatives; and the use of ICF as guiding framework.


Researchers, clinicians, and other professionals in the FCE area are interested in improving the quality and content of FCE research by setting a common set of priorities and creating an international peer network.

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