Purpose: Determine the association of different social factors with Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) performance in adults.
Materials and methods: A systematic literature search was performed in MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO electronic databases. Studies were eligible if they studied social factor’s association with the performance of adults undergoing FCE. Studies were assessed on methodological quality and quality of evidence. The review was performed using best-evidence synthesis methods.
Results: Thirteen studies were eligible and 11 social factors were studied. Considerable heterogeneity regarding measurements, populations, and methods existed among the studies. High quality of evidence was found for the association of FCE performance with the country of FCE and examiner’s fear behavior; moderate quality of evidence with previous job salary; and low or very low quality of evidence with compensation status, litigation status, type of instruction, time of day (workday), primary or mother language, and ethnicity. Other social factors were not studied.
Conclusions: Evidence for associations of various social factors with FCE performance was found, but robust conclusions about the strength of the associations cannot be made. Quality of evidence ranged from high to very low. Further research on social factors, also within a biopsychosocial context, is necessary to provide a better understanding of FCE performance.