The development of a patient-specific method for physiotherapy goal setting: a user-centered design

<p><b>Purpose:</b> To deliver client-centered care, physiotherapists need to identify the patients’ individual treatment goals. However, practical tools for involving patients in goal setting are lacking. The purpose of this study was to improve the frequently used Patient-Specific Complaints instrument in Dutch physiotherapy, and to develop it into a feasible method to improve physiotherapy goal setting.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> An iterative user-centered design was conducted in co-creation with the physiotherapists and patients, in three phases. Their needs and preferences were identified by means of group meetings and questionnaires. The new method was tested in several field tests in physiotherapy practices.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> Four main objectives for improvement were formulated: clear instructions for the administration procedure, targeted use across the physiotherapy process, client-activating communication skills, and a client-centered attitude of the physiotherapist. A theoretical goal-setting framework and elements of shared decision making were integrated into the new-called, Patient-Specific Goal-setting method, together with a practical training course.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> The user-centered approach resulted in a goal-setting method that is fully integrated in the physiotherapy process. The new goal-setting method contributes to a more structured approach to goal setting and enables patient participation and goal-oriented physiotherapy. Before large-scale implementation, its feasibility in physiotherapy practice needs to be investigated.Implications for rehabilitation</p><p>Involving patients and physiotherapists in the development and testing of a goal-setting method, increases the likelihood of its feasibility in practice.</p><p>The integration of a goal-setting method into the physiotherapy process offers the opportunity to focus more fully on the patient’s goals.</p><p>Patients should be informed about the aim of every step of the goal-setting process in order to increase their awareness and involvement.</p><p>Training physiotherapists to use a patient-specific method for goal setting is crucial for a correct application.</p><p></p> <p>Involving patients and physiotherapists in the development and testing of a goal-setting method, increases the likelihood of its feasibility in practice.</p> <p>The integration of a goal-setting method into the physiotherapy process offers the opportunity to focus more fully on the patient’s goals.</p> <p>Patients should be informed about the aim of every step of the goal-setting process in order to increase their awareness and involvement.</p> <p>Training physiotherapists to use a patient-specific method for goal setting is crucial for a correct application.</p>