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Community Ment Health J. 1968 Dec;4(6):443-53. doi: 10.1007/BF01530764.

Goal attainment scaling: A general method for evaluating comprehensive community mental health programs.

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Hennepin County Mental Health Center, Hennepin County General Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


A mental health enterprise may be described by either (a) rather general philosophical total mental health goals, or (b) highly diverse and individualized patient-therapist goals. Goals a. have not provided a workable framework for program evaluation. This paper proposes that evaluation be done in the framework of goals b. by setting up, before treatment, a measurable scale for each patient-therapist goal, and specifying, for each patient, a transformation of his overall goal attainment into a standardized T-score. This method, together with random assignment of patients to treatment modes, was devised to permit comparison of treatment modes within a program, but it also provides a good basis for a judgmental evaluation of the total program.


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