The American Medical Association's 'Guides to the evaluation of permanent impairment'

E. M. Shanahan, L. A. Le Leu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment have been used widely in the United States (40 of 53 jurisdictions) as the major tool for assessing permanent impairment in workers compensation for many years. In Australia the AMA Guides are increasingly being written into the workers compensation legislation for this purpose. Despite their apparent appeal as a scientifically valid and reliable dowment, the AMA Guides are open to criticism at a number of levels. This paper outlines the current use of the AMA Guides in the workers compensation arena in Australia and discusses some of the possible reasons why they have been adopted to date. The recent adoption of the Guides in South Australian legislation is described from the perspective of the medical practitioners asked to perform these assessments. The principal criticisms of the Guides are discussed and their deficiencies in filling the required role are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-329
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment of working capacity
  • Evaluation
  • Workers compensation


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