Goal attainment scaling and outcome measurement in postacute brain injury rehabilitation

James F. Malec, Jeffrey S. Smigielski, Robert W. DePompolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations


Relationships among two-month and final goal attainment scaling (GAS) scores, preadmission and final Portland Adaptability Inventory (PAI) scores, and work outcome for 16 graduates of a comprehensive, postacute brain injury rehabilitation program were examined. Final GAS scores were higher for program graduates who obtained the most desirable work outcomes, and preadmission and final PAI scores were lower for the successful program graduates. Final GAS scores were significantly correlated with other outcome measures. Preadmission PAI scores predicted work outcome, and two-month GAS scores predicted final GAS scores. Initial PAI scores distinguished between program successes and failures, but not between program successes and dropouts. A brief look at one case illustrates the modified application of GAS in postacute brain injury rehabilitation. Results of this study and case analyses support GAS as a quantifiable, individualized measure that is useful for (1) monitoring patient progress, (2) structuring team conferences, (3) ongoing rehabilitation planning and decision-making, (4) concise, relevant communication to family, referral sources, and funding sources, and (5) overall program evaluation when used in the context of other objective outcome measures. Although our results support the clinical utility of GAS, further study is recommended to assess the psychometric characteristics of GAS in this application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991


  • Brain injuries
  • Goals
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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