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Occup Environ Med 66:657-663 doi:10.1136/oem.2008.042903
  • Original article

Criterion-related validity of functional capacity evaluation lifting tests on future work disability risk and return to work in the construction industry

  1. V Gouttebarge1,
  2. P P F M Kuijer1,
  3. H Wind1,
  4. C van Duivenbooden2,
  5. J K Sluiter1,
  6. M H W Frings-Dresen1
  1. 1
    Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Department: Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    Arbouw, Ceintuurbaan 2, Harderwijk, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Vincent Gouttebarge, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands; v.gouttebarge{at}amc.nl
  • Accepted 26 February 2009
  • Published Online First 24 May 2009

Abstract

Objectives: To assess the criterion-related validity of the five Ergo-Kit (EK) functional capacity evaluation (FCE) lifting tests in construction workers on sick leave due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Methods: Six weeks, 6 months and 1 year after the first sick leave day due to MSDs, construction workers underwent two isometric and three dynamic EK FCE lifting tests, and completed the Instrument for Disability Risk (IDR) for future work disability risk. Concurrent and predictive validity were assessed by the associations between the scores of the EK FCE lifting tests and the IDR outcomes (Pearson Correlation coefficients (r) and associated proportions of variance (PV) and area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC)). Predictive validity of the EK FCE lifting tests on the total number of days on sick leave until full durable return to work (RTW) was also evaluated (Cox regression analysis).

Results: Concurrent validity with future work disability risk was poor for the two isometric EK FCE lifting tests (−0.15⩽r⩽0.04) and moderate for the three dynamic EK FCE lifting tests (−0.47⩽r⩽−0.31). Only the carrying lifting strength test showed moderate and acceptable predictive validity on future work disability risk (r = −0.39; AUC = 0.72). Cox regression analyses revealed that two out of the five EK FCE lifting tests predicted durable RTW significantly, but only weakly.

Conclusions: Criterion-related validity with future work disability risk was poor for the two isometric EK lifting tests and moderate for the three dynamic lifting tests, especially the carrying lifting strength test. Predictive validity on durable RTW was poor, although weakly significant in two dynamic EK FCE tests, of which one was the carrying lifting strength test.

Footnotes

  • Funding This study was financially supported by “Stichting Arbouw” and “Stichting Instituut GAK”.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This study was performed in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration (1964) and received approval from the Medical Ethics Committee of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • CvD contributed to the introduction and discussion, but was not involved in the data analyses and results description of this article.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.