The use of goal attainment scaling to measure the outcomes of a community based occupational therapy service for adults with traumatic brain

Ms Kate Laver1, Mr Christopher Barr1, Ms Claire Sauvarin1,

1 Department of Rehabilitation, Aged and Extended Care, School of Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, 22. Occupational Therapy, Everyday Independence, Melbourne, Australia


Objective. Measuring client outcomes is an important aspect of quality assurance for rehabilitation services. The aim of this study was to investigate client outcomes following participation in a community based occupational therapy service for persons with traumatic brain injury when using the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) as an outcome tool.

Method. A retrospective chart audit analysis spanning 2 years (2013-2015) was conducted. Sociodemographic data and client goals (as documented using Goal Attainment Scaling) were extracted from client charts. We examined overall goal achievement as well as likelihood of successful goal attainment depending on the type of goal set.

Results. A total of 61 charts were included. On average, clients achieved a score of 0 on the GAS, indicating the expected level of achievement.  Clients were more likely to achieve a personal care goal (83% achieved) or domestic task goal (95% achieved) when compared to a community activity goal (67% achieved). Setting more than one goal did not affect the person’s ability to achieve their primary goal.

Conclusion. Our results suggested that at the end of treatment programs, most clients have met their goals as anticipated. Community oriented goals (specifically the goal to “take a holiday”) were less commonly met.

Key words: Traumatic brain injury, goal setting, goal attainment scale, occupational therapy, rehabilitation