To investigate the short-term effects of the life goal concept on subjective well-being and treatment engagement, and to determine the sample size required for a larger trial.Design:
A quasi-randomized controlled trial that was not blinded.Setting:
A subacute rehabilitation ward.Subjects:
A total of 66 patients were randomized to a goal-setting intervention group with the life goal concept (Life Goal), a standard rehabilitation group with no goal-setting intervention (Control 1), or a goal-setting intervention group without the life goal concept (Control 2).Interventions:
The goal-setting intervention in the Life Goal and Control 2 was Goal Attainment Scaling. The Life Goal patients were assessed in terms of their life goals, and the hierarchy of goals was explained. The intervention duration was four weeks.Main measures:
Patients were assessed pre- and post-intervention. The outcome measures were the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, 12-item General Health Questionnaire, Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale, and Functional Independence Measure.Results:
Of the 296 potential participants, 66 were enrolled; Life Goal (n = 22), Control 1 (n = 22) and Control 2 (n = 22). Anxiety was significantly lower in the Life Goal (4.1 ±3.0) than in Control 1 (6.7 ±3.4), but treatment engagement was significantly higher in the Life Goal (5.3 ±0.4) compared with both the Control 1 (4.8 ±0.6) and Control 2 (4.9 ±0.5).Conclusions:
The life goal concept had a short-term effect on treatment engagement. A sample of 31 patients per group would be required for a fully powered clinical trial.