Goal setting in paediatric rehabilitation for children with motor disabilities: a scoping review

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Objectives:The three objectives of this scoping review were to (1) identify key conceptual/theoretical frameworks and the extent to which they are used to inform goal setting related to rehabilitation goal setting with children with motor disabilities, (2) describe research that has evaluated goal setting processes and outcomes, and (3) summarize the purposes of goal setting described in paediatric rehabilitation literature.Methods:The scoping review process described by Arksey and O’Malley was used to guide article selection and data extraction.Results:A total of 62 articles were included in the final review. While the concept of family-centered care was well represented, theoretical frameworks specific to goal setting (i.e. goal setting theory described by Locke and Latham, mastery motivation, social cognitive, personal construct, and self-determination theories) were rarely addressed. No articles reviewed addressed prominent behavior change theory. With the exception of the description of tools specifically designed for use with children, the role of the child in the goal setting process was generally absent or not well described. Few studies (n = 6) discussed the linkage between goals and intervention strategies explicitly. Only two studies in the review evaluated outcomes associated with goal setting. The primary purpose for goal setting identified in the literature was to develop goals that are meaningful to families (n = 49).Conclusion:The results highlight significant gaps in the literature explicating a sound theoretical basis for goal setting in paediatric rehabilitation and research evaluating the effects of goal qualities and goal setting processes on the achievement of meaningful outcomes.

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