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Collaborative goal setting with adults attending physiotherapy at a specialist neuromuscular centre: is it always appropriate? A cross-sectional survey,

Hartley, SE and Stockley, RC (2015) Collaborative goal setting with adults attending physiotherapy at a specialist neuromuscular centre: is it always appropriate? A cross-sectional survey,. Physiotherapy. ISSN 1873-1465

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Abstract

Objectives: Collaborative goal setting is an integral component of treatment planning for adults with neuromuscular disorders (NMD). However due to the unique challenges for these individuals, identifying a process for goal setting that is advantageous for all, can be problematic. This study aimed to evaluate collaborative goal setting at a specialist Neuromuscular Centre, as reported by service users attending physiotherapy. It also, aimed to generate discussion about collaborative goal setting and the practice of goal setting in adults with NMD, in order to inform future practice. Design: A cross-sectional survey design was used. Setting: A specialist NMD community based centre in the UK Participants: Adults with NMD who attended the Centre. Interventions: Themes and content analysis of goals set were carried out alongside demographic data collection. Results: 104 clients (34 females) with a range of neuromuscular conditions including; Becker, facioscapularhumeral, limb girdle, Duchenne and myotonic muscular dystrophies completed the survey. Thirty six respondents (37%) stated they had set goals with the physiotherapist whilst 62 (63%) stated they did not. Respondents’ goals were grouped into four themes: maintenance, symptom management, improving physical condition and learning to live with the condition. Conclusions: Readiness to take part in collaborative goals setting is unique to each individual. Physiotherapists need to be skilful in supporting adults with NMD through the goal setting process until they are capable of sharing responsibility. Setting personal goals to improve emotional wellbeing may help to develop confidence to take more control of their situation, hence facilitating skills in self-management.

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