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Functional Assessments

Evidence shows that return to work success significantly declines as time off work increases. As the time exceeds six weeks, the probability of return to work reduces from 50% to less than 10% at one year away. The earlier you can provide a Return to Work (RTW) assessment and the appropriate intervention, the more likely an employee is to succeed with RTW.

Occupational Therapy functional assessments can help you support an employee in returning to work by assessing their functional abilities, the job demands, and the work environment. Through this assessment, the Occupational Therapist determines an appropriate intervention plan that can help your employee build the skills, tolerance, and capabilities to return to work.

The Functional Assessment Process


Gowan starts by assigning the best Occupational Therapist for your employee. Our therapist may perform the assessment in person or virtually.

The Occupational Therapist completes an objective assessment using standardized and functional assessment tools to understand the employee’s current abilities, the work demands, and work environment. This may involve a physical assessment (of lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, etc.), a cognitive assessment (of memory, processing, problem solving, organizing information, and other related cognitive skills), or a psychosocial assessment (for factors impacting a safe and timely return to work).

During the assessment, we will understand the barriers and opportunities for returning to work.

The Occupational Therapist will collaborate with the employee, their health care providers, and the employer to determine a safe and timely plan for sustainably returning to work. This may involve reactivation, cognitive or physical work hardening, work accommodation 
recommendations, or a RTW facilitation plan.

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