Exploring the factors that influence the goal setting process for occupational therapy intervention with an individual with spinal cord injury

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This paper investigates the factors that influence the process that occurs between an individual with a spinal injury and his/her occupational therapist when setting goals for therapy intervention. A single case study design was adopted using a combination of in-depth semistructured interviews with a therapist and patient, and observation of occupational therapy treatment sessions. After analysis of the results, the following four categories emerged as influencing the goal setting process: the context for setting goals; the concept of independence; the features of goals; and the process dimensions of goal setting. The study highlights that the patient and therapist's respective views of independence, and their understanding of the features of goals may influence the success of the goal setting process. Further investigation into these areas is indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Goal setting process
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury

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