Work Ability
Work Ability
Return to work, return to health.
For most people, work is a major aspect of life.  When any type of disability affects a person, work disability may occur and contribute to negative consequences not just on the individual but for the society as well.

Recent research indicates that employment opportunities for people with health problems are limited.  Work has a central place in society and is highly valued in people’s lives.  It is described as providing an important meaning to life, as well as providing structure to the various life domains that make up a person’s social context.  Having a job is also crucial to social inclusion.  Having a job can promote personal needs, such as enhanced self-efficacy and an ability to move away from a feeling of being lost and hopeless to one of feeling that you are making a contribution to society.

“Work is described as providing an important meaning to life, as well as providing structure to the various life domains that make up a person’s social context.”
– Takkie Pistorius, Founder & Managing Therapist



The assessment of functional abilities or limitations and influencing contextual factors in an FCE (Functional Capacity Evaluation), is the basis for selecting appropriate return to work programmes to enhance the client’s potential to perform work tasks and subsequent work participation.

We make use of a range of standardized protocols and tests in our FCEs and assess clients with physical disability/impairment and injuries/illnesses affecting cognitive- and emotional functioning.

All our therapists are certified in WorkWell’s Functional Capacity Evaluation, which is a comprehensive functional test designed to objectively measure the maximum safe functional abilities of a client across a broad range of physical tasks in an effort to describe worker abilities.

We have therapists trained to administer the Psychiatric Functional Capacity Evaluator (PFCE), developed by Karen Theunissen. The PFCE enables a standardised approach of assessment of work-related impairment for those affected by psychiatric conditions. It is specifically designed bearing in mind the South African skilled workforce.


Work hardening

Work hardening is a service to restore physical, cognitive, behavioural and vocational functions to enable the injured or ill employee to return to his/her job as prior to an injury or onset of a medical condition.

The work hardening programme includes simulated or actual work tasks and components of work tasks. Patient training and education form part of the work hardening program to facilitate insight of the employee into his/her limitations as well as remaining abilities. Work hardening addresses the issues of:

  • Productivity;
  • Safety;
  • Physical and cognitive tolerances; and
  • Worker behaviours.

Setting up and following of a graded, individualised plan assists with working towards specific goals for each employee. Regular contact with the employer is important throughout work hardening, to intervene early, should any challenges arise.

Return to Work.

Return to Work is an interdisciplinary approach in which we take on the role as Disability Management Consultant. We have a network of professionals to refer to and include in the process (as and when appropriate), such as biokineticists, psychologists and TRE (Trauma Release Exercise) therapists.

Tailor-made Stay at Work programmes are important to facilitate RTW, as returning too early can be damaging to the client/employer, but late RTW (12 weeks post injury/illness) success rates drop with 50%.


Case Management

Case management has an instrumental role in facilitating RTW, by integrating and coordinating services and interactions among the stakeholders.

Recent research found that effective communications among the worker, the employer, and the compensation system, evidenced by the worker’s physical and psychological needs being met, were associated with a reduction in in worker’s compensation costs over time.

We approach case management with objective criteria to measure progression of the employee and the RTW programme. We make regular contact with all stakeholders and work according to a planned schedule, to ensure that all involved are informed.

The Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP).

Each year, injury or illness cause an alarming amount of people to become disabled. The Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP) was designed to control and alleviate the severity of disability that can occur after injury or illness.

PGAP is a 10-week structured program designed for treating psychosocial difficulties in a variety of diagnoses, including physical and mental diagnoses. The program aims to facilitate participation in activities of daily living with the goal of enabling an individual to return to work. The program is designed to assist the individual with setting goals and improving function through a step-by-step guided activity program.