A multicentre study of how goal-setting is practised during inpatient stroke rehabilitation

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To describe goal-setting during inpatient stroke rehabilitation.

There were two stages: an electronic questionnaire for multidisciplinary teams and an analysis of goal-setting documentation for rehabilitation patients.

Five inpatient stroke units.

Staff involved in goal-setting and patients undergoing stroke rehabilitation.

A total of 13 therapists and 49 patients were recruited, and 351 documented goals were examined. All units used therapist-led goal-setting (60% of goals were set by therapists). In total, 72% of goals were patient-focused but patients and families were rarely directly involved. Goals focussed on basic mobility and activities of daily living (~50% and ~25% of goals, respectively). Only 41% of documented goals met the SMART criteria. Review of progress was limited: 48% of goals were never reviewed and 24% of the remainder were merely marked as ‘ongoing’ without a date or plan for completion. New goals and actions were often documented without any connection to previous goals. Integration between goals and treatment/action plans was mixed. In two units, goals were unconnected to a treatment or action plan, but for the remainder it was 90%–100%. However, that connection was generally vague and amounted to suggestions of the type of treatment modality that staff might employ.

Goal-setting during inpatient stroke rehabilitation is therapist-led but discussed with the multidisciplinary team. Therapists mainly identified patient-focussed mobility and activities of daily living goals. Monitoring progress and revising goals were often uncompleted. Links between goals and treatment, action plans and progress were patchy.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Early online date17 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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