AMA Guides 5ed Glossary Definitions (Pages 599-603)
Below is a common list of terms that help RateFast users better understand the basics definitions used for impairment ratings. You will find many of these terms used in RateFast to provide more consistent and reproducible reports.
A factor(s) (eg, physical, chemical, biological or medical condition) that adversely alters the course or progression of the medical impairment. Worsening of a preexisting medical condition or impairment.
Fixation of a joint in a specific position by disease, injury or surgery. When surgically created, the aim is to fuse the joint in that position, which is best for improved function.
A distribution or allocation of causation among multiple factors that caused or significantly contributed to the injury or disease and existing impairment.
Devices that help individuals with a functional loss increase function. Examples include reachers, extended grabbers, hearing aids, and telephone amplifiers.
An identifiable factor (eg. accident or exposure to hazards or disease) that results in a medically identifiable condition.
Pain that extends beyond the expected period of healing or is related to a progressive disease. It is usually elicited by an injury or disease but may be perpetuated by factors that are both pathogenically and physically remote from the original cause. Because the pain persists, it is likely that environmental and psychological factors interact with the tissue damage, contributing to the persistence of pain and illness behavior.
Combined Values Chart
A method used to combine multiple impairments, derived from the formula A+ B(1-A) w combined values of A and B, which ensures that the summary value will not exceed 100% of the whole person.
A permanent shortening (as of muscle, tendon, or scar tissue) producing loss of motion, deformity, or distortion.
A range of optimal weight given an individual’s sex, age, height and body habitus.
Alteration of an individual’s capacity to meet personal, social, or occupational demands or statutory or regulatory requirements because of an impairment. Disability is a relational outcome, contingent on the environmental conditions in which activities are performed.
Effects of medication
Medication may impact the individual’s sign, symptoms, and ability to function. They physician may choose to increase the impairment estimate by a small percentage (1% to 3%) to account for effects of treatment.
The inability to completely perform a task due to an impairment. In some instances, functional limitations may be overcome through modifications in the individual’s personal or environmental accommodations.
A historical term used to describe disability or a person living with a disability or disabilities. A handicapped individual has been considered to be someone with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits activity, especially in relation to employment or education.
A loss, loss of use, or derangement of any body part, organ system, or organ function.
A medical evaluation performed by a physician, using a standard method as outlined in the Guides, to determine permanent impairment associated with a medical condition.
Impairment percentages or ratings
Consensus derived estimates that reflect the severity of the impairment and the degree to which the impairment decreases an individual’s ability to perform common activities of daily living as listed in Table 1-2.
A conscious and willful feigning or exaggeration of a disease or effect of an injury in order to obtain specific external gain. It is usually motivated by external incentives, such as receiving financial compensation, obtaining drugs, or avoiding work or other responsibilities.
Maximum medical improvement (MMI)
A condition or state that is well stabilized and unlikely to change substantially in the next year, with or without medical treatment. Over time, there may be some change, however, further recovery or deterioration is not anticipated.
A range or zone that represents healthy functioning and varies with age, gender, and other factors, such as environmental conditions.
An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.
A sensation of prickling, tingling, or creeping on the skin, usually associated with injury or irritation of a sensory nerve or nerve root.
An impairment that has reached maximal medical improvement.
An artificial device to replace a missing part of the body.
Any pathological condition of the nerve roots.
A return of the disorder or disease after a remission.
Synonymous with reliability. Consistency in results when examinations (tests) are repeated.
Pain along the course of a sciatic verve, especially in the back of the thigh, caused by compression, inflammation, or reflex mechanisms.
A radiographic method used to determine actual limb length.
The action or manner of treating an individual, medically or surgically. Medical treatment is the action or manner of treating an individual, medically or surgically by a physician. Treatment may include modalities recommended by a health care provider.
An accurate measurement apart from random errors. Validity refers to the extent to which a test measures what it is intended to measure.
Whole person impairment
Percentages that estimate the impact of the impairment on the individual’s overall ability to perform activities of daily living, excluding work.
A compensation program designed to provide medical and economic support to workers who have been injured or become ill from an incident arising out of and in the course of their employment.