Patient-centred goal setting using functional outcome measures in geriatric rehabilitation: is it feasible?

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Background: Patient-centred goal setting is regarded as a beneficial intervention for geriatric rehabilitation. Nevertheless, its known laborious implementation in clinical practice remains an ongoing challenge. To improve implementation of patient-centred goal setting, the integration of goal setting with standardized measures has been proposed. Our objective of the current study was to explore the feasibility of Collaborative Functional Goal Setting (CFGS), i.e., using standardized functional measures to set and evaluate functional goals during geriatric rehabilitation. Materials and methods: Three medical professionals working in two geriatric rehabilitation wards were trained in CFGS and interviewed at the end of the study. We aimed at including 20 patients who underwent the CFGS intervention and could participate in open interviews. Both interviews of the professionals and patients were qualitatively analyzed. Results: Eight patients were included in the study, five of which could be interviewed. Both patients and professionals expressed a need for patient-centred goal setting. Patients indicated that goals were mainly set by the professional and that a rehabilitation plan was either not presented or its content was not clear to them. In contrast, the professionals regarded CFGS as patient-centred and potentially helpful in facilitating the goal-setting process. Nevertheless, the professionals indicated having difficulty with the implementation of the intervention. Conclusion: In the current study, we demonstrated that patient-centred goal setting supported by functional measurements was not feasible in its present form which confirms the evidence from the literature that is difficult to perform patient-centred goal setting in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Aged people
  • Functional assessment
  • Geriatric rehabilitation
  • Goal setting
  • Patient-centred care

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