The Content of Support of Persons with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities: An Analysis of the Number and Content of Goals in the Educational Programmes

A.A.J. Van der Putten, C. Vlaskamp, P. Poppes

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This study focuses on the support of persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) by analysing the number and content of formulated goals in the educational programmes.


The programmes of 145 persons with PIMD were analysed. The number of long- and short-term goals as well as the number of goals reached was determined. To clarify the content of given support, goals were categorized into different domains.


In total, 220 long-term goals were formulated (mean: 2; SD: 0.88; range: 1-4), of which 14% were reached. Of the 1624 short-term goals (mean: 11; SD: 10.07; range: 0-51) formulated, 52% were reached. Further detailed analyses show that although the number of goals was not dependent on age, the number of long-term goals reached was significantly higher in children; 52% of the 220 long-term goals focused on 'interaction and social' roles and 68% of the 1624 short-term goals focused on 'gathering knowledge about the client'.


Results indicate that support to persons with PIMD especially focuses on 'interaction and social roles'. Especially, health issues seem to be under-represented. Short-term goals mainly focus on gathering knowledge. Further studies are needed to clarify if professionals indeed lack detailed information about their clients or if available knowledge (e.g. in files) is not transferred into day-to-day practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-394
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2009


  • educational programme
  • educational services
  • goal analysis
  • profound intellectual and multiple disabilities
  • support

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