Assessment of physical functioning

The functional assessment is an important part of rehabilitation in that it helps to guide the treatment types and duration, measures outcomes, estimates the burden of care that will need to be provided by others and provides documentation for payment for care. While the Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) is used to directly measure a person’s functional ability to perform specific work-related tasks, the LIFEware Systems measures function in adult outpatients and the FIM in adult inpatients.

Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA)

The FCA examines the worker as he/she completes activities in a structured setting, directly measuring the physical level of work the individual can perform. It is an objective tool that is dependent on the motivation, cognitive awareness and sincerity of effort of the participant. It identifies the injured workers current level of function and is used to determine job placement, accommodations or return to work after an injury.

LIFEware System

The LIFEware System measures function in adult outpatients in the domains of physical functioning, cognitive functioning, affective sense of well-being or mood state, experience with pain, community role, satisfaction with life, and satisfaction with treatment. With this system the patient self reports.

Functional Independence Measures Instrument (FIM)

FIM is used in the inpatient rehab setting and measures the individuals level of independence/dependence in self care, sphincter control, transfers, locomotion, communication, and social cognition. Clinicians give a rating of 1-7, with 7 indicating complete independence and 1 indicating total assist from another person. 

Pediatric Functional Independence Measure (FIM)

Measures mobility in the home and community environment and ability to perform ADL’s in children 7 through adult. Areas measured are the same as FIM.


The WeeFIM assesses children in the same areas as the FIM and uses the same rating scale. It is used in children ages 6 months to 8 year with out disabilities, and in children with developmental disabilities ages 6 months to 12 years.