You may have noticed when you visited your physiotherapist that they were very particular about you setting very clear and specific goals. Why, you may have asked yourself! I just want to get better / walk better!!!
Goal setting is the fundamental foundation for any successful rehabilitation program. In the past it was performed more informally that it is today, as now there is a strong theoretical background as to why goal setting is so important in rehabilitation.
The aim of goal setting is to achieve a change in behaviour. Several different theories of behaviour change have been used to develop a practice framework for goal setting. Your physiotherapist is specific about your goals and how you will achieve them to increase your chances of success. The following outlines the important components of goal setting that your physiotherapist will consider while setting goals with you;
- Self efficacy – your confidence in your ability to achieve a desired goal.
- Outcome expectancies – your beliefs about what the outcome of performing a particular goal directed behaviour will be.
- Goal attributes – important characteristics of your goal such as specificity and difficulty.
- Action planning – specific plans that describe how you will achieve your goal.
- Coping planning – plans that describe how you will overcome potential barriers.
- Appraisal – assessment of your performance in carrying out your plan and progress in relation to your goal.
- Feedback – about performance in completing your plan and progress towards your goal.
Self efficacy is a particularly important part of goal setting as it helps to create motivation towards behaviour change and hence goal attainment. Self efficacy can be increased through the following;
- Focusing on goals likely to result in success.
- Encouraging your capability to achieve goals.
- Raising awareness that people with similar problems have been able to meet similar goals.
- Correcting misinterpretations about physical conditions that could deter you from following a particular goal.
- Successful performance enhances self efficacy.
Overall ,in practice it works something like this;
- Goal negotiation – discuss specific problems and potential goals.
- Goal setting – what you would like to achieve.
- Planning – this is the how.
- Action – carry out the plan.
- Appraisal and feedback – evaluate performance in relation to action plan and progress in relation to goal.
…..then the cycle starts again with either modified or new goals!