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Res Social Adm Pharm. 2012 Mar-Apr;8(2):102-21. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2011.01.003. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Goal-attainment scaling: a review and applications to pharmacy practice.

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  • 1Inpatient Pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente Hospital, 10800 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92879, USA.



Goal-attainment scaling (GAS) might represent a breakthrough, or at least hold significant utility in pharmacy practice for program evaluation, but it has not yet been widely applied in the discipline.


This study aimed to (1) review the psychometric properties of GAS-a measurement technique for the evaluation of outcomes, (2) explore the clinical utility of GAS in various settings, and (3) introduce its potential application in pharmacy practice.


This systematic review included identified published literature in Pubmed electronic database with keywords/search terms: GAS, goal attainment, goal scaling, goal-attainment procedure, goal-attainment method, GAS and health outcomes, GAS and Short-Form-36 (SF-36), and GAS and quality of life. The inclusion criteria were (1) articles pertaining to GAS method; (2) psychometric data of reliability, validity, and responsiveness were reported; (3) published in Pubmed from 1968 to July 2007; and (4) research on humans. The exclusion criteria were (1) articles published in languages other than English and (2) review articles.


Of the 1055 articles screened, 26 articles from physical/occupational rehabilitation (17) and psychology (9) with psychometric properties evaluation met the inclusion criteria for review. Examination of the literature revealed that GAS demonstrated high reliability, variable validity, and excellent responsiveness.


Several reasons that make GAS a useful methodology include the capability for patient-specific and cooperative goal setting; incremental goal setting toward progress; versatility of clinical utility to cover medication therapy management; and indexing of individual scores for evaluation of program effectiveness.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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