Rehabilitation goal setting with community dwelling adults with acquired brain injury: a theoretical framework derived from clinicians’ reflections on practice Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE:The aim of this study was to explore clinicians' experiences of implementing goal setting with community dwelling clients with acquired brain injury, to develop a goal setting practice framework. METHOD:Grounded theory methodology was employed. Clinicians, representing six disciplines across seven services, were recruited and interviewed until theoretical saturation was achieved. A total of 22 clinicians were interviewed. RESULTS:A theoretical framework was developed to explain how clinicians support clients to actively engage in goal setting in routine practice. The framework incorporates three phases: a needs identification phase, a goal operationalisation phase, and an intervention phase. Contextual factors, including personal and environmental influences, also affect how clinicians and clients engage in this process. Clinicians use additional strategies to support clients with impaired self-awareness. These include structured communication and metacognitive strategies to operationalise goals. For clients with emotional distress, clinicians provide additional time and intervention directed at new identity development. CONCLUSIONS:The goal setting practice framework may guide clinician's understanding of how to engage in client-centred goal setting in brain injury rehabilitation. There is a predilection towards a client-centred goal setting approach in the community setting, however, contextual factors can inhibit implementation of this approach. Implications for Rehabilitation The theoretical framework describes processes used to develop achievable client-centred goals with people with brain injury. Building rapport is a core strategy to engage clients with brain injury in goal setting. Clients with self-awareness impairment benefit from additional metacognitive strategies to participate in goal setting. Clients with emotional distress may need additional time for new identity development.

publication date

  • 2018