Goals of care among hospitalized patients: a validation study

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011 Aug;28(5):335-41. doi: 10.1177/1049909110388505. Epub 2010 Nov 21.


Our objective was to validate 6 literature-derived goals of care by analyzing open-ended and closed-ended responses about goals of care from a previous study of hospitalized patients. Eight clinicians categorized patients' open-ended articulations of their goals of care using a literature-derived framework and then compared those categorizations to patients' own closed-ended selections of their most important goal of care. Clinicians successfully categorized patients' open-ended responses using the literature-derived framework 83.5% of the time, and their categorizations matched patients' closed-ended most important goal of care 87.8% of the time. Goals that did not fit within the literature-derived framework all pertained to the goal of understanding a patient's diagnosis or prognosis; this seventh potential goal can be added to the literature-derived framework of 6 goals of care.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Communication
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology