Goal setting with caregivers of adults in the community: a mixed methods systematic review

Heidi Yan, Lindy Clemson, Fiona Jarvis, Kate Laver

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To examine how goal setting is used with caregivers of community residing adults and the effect of goal setting practices in improving the outcomes. Methods: A mixed methods systematic review was conducted. The methodological rigour of included studies was critiqued using Cochrane Collaboration's risk of bias assessment tool, Downs and Black checklist and a framework for evaluating qualitative research. Narrative synthesis was created through tabulation and categorisation, visual mapping of the goal setting process, thematic analysis on common goal setting features and critical reflection on the accuracy and robustness of the synthesis. Results: Seventeen studies were included: 10 randomised trials, 5 other quantitative studies and two descriptive studies which incorporated qualitative methods. The trials demonstrated a relatively low risk of bias in contrast to the other studies that had varied methodological rigour. No studies isolated the effect of the goal setting process on outcomes and therefore the effectiveness of goal setting could not be evaluated. However, through a narrative synthesis six prominent features of collaborative goal setting were identified. Conclusions: Despite the fact that goal setting is an important component of client-centred care, and the prominence of client-centred care in healthcare discourse, the review uncovered a surprisingly limited number of studies. Goal setting is an elusive process that is of therapeutic value and warrants further investigation.Implications for RehabilitationThe current body of empirical evidence suggests that there are six prominent features of collaborative goal setting with caregivers.The goals that are most important to caregivers are often different to those that are important to clinicians; it is important that caregivers and clinicians agree on goals to maximise adherence to treatment and goal attainment.The quality of evidence for goal setting with caregivers is limited although some intervention trials illustrate the usefulness of collaborative goal setting in contributing to improved outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1943-1963
    Number of pages21
    JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
    Issue number23
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


    • Carers
    • Elderly
    • Family
    • Goals


    Dive into the research topics of 'Goal setting with caregivers of adults in the community: a mixed methods systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this