Goal setting in Dutch paediatric rehabilitation. Are the needs and principal problems of children with cerebral palsy integrated into their rehabilitation goals?

Bianca J.G. Nijhuis, Heleen A. Reinders-Messelink, Alida C. E. de Blecourt, Anne M. Boonstra, Esther H. M. Calame, Johan W. Groothoff, Han Nakken, Klaas Postema

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Objective: To evaluate whether the needs and principal problems of children with cerebral palsy (CP) as formulated in their interdisciplinary rehabilitation reports are integrated into the goal descriptions and whether this depends on the nature of the needs and problems.

Design: Descriptive multiple-case study.

Setting: Five Dutch paediatric rehabilitation facilities.

Subjects: The rehabilitation profiles of 41 children with cerebral palsy aged between 4 and 8 years.

Methods: The raw text data were extracted and organized, after which two raters independently linked the extracted content to the categories of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY). Matches between needs, problems and goals were identified by ICF-CY code comparisons.

Results: The Cohen's kappas for ICF-CY encoding were all in the range of 'fair to good' (0.52-0.78). For five children (12%) no needs had been formulated and the reports of 10 (24%) were excluded from further analyses as they lacked a principal goal. In the 31 reports analysed, 29 (23%) need constructs and 46 (46%) problem constructs were incorporated into the goals. Of the total of 95 goal constructs 49 (52%) were not related to either a need or a problem construct. No clear relationship could be established between the type of needs and problems and their inclusion or exclusion in the principal goals.

Conclusion: Overall, the integration of the needs and principal problems of children with their rehabilitation goals was not optimal. However, integration was difficult to objectify because needs, problems and goals were poorly documented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-363
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2008


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