Goal definition by staff consensus: A contribution to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of mental health services

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To provide a basis for the evaluation of VA mental health services, a survey was conducted of staff opinion regarding the importance of several specific goals for these services. Nine goals were formulated and submitted to 6,435 central office and field facility staff to obtain their ratings of each goal's importance, with an “of no importance” rating being possible. The goals dealing with (a) the development of patient skills necessary for being self-supporting, (b) the elimination of psychological disorders, and (c) the protection of patients and others from violence received the highest average ratings. The remaining goals were considered as having some importance although there were substantial differences among the sample about the degree. Interoccupational group differences in importance ratings were statistically significant but small. Although the goals formulated and ratified by staff were general, they were more specific than previous goal statements. It is suggested that because of this relative specificity, they provide useful guidance for planning, managing, delivering, and evaluating mental health services. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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