Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) in geriatric primary care: a feasibility study

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2015 Jan-Feb;60(1):16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2014.10.022. Epub 2014 Nov 6.


Objective: Evaluate the feasibility of generating patient-centered goals using GAS with older adults who have multiple chronic conditions, recruited through primary care.

Method: Adults age 65+ (N=27) were recruited from a geriatric primary care center. Participants were asked to identify 2-4 activity-based goals and set attainment levels using GAS. At 8 weeks, participants were asked to rate current level of their goal performance. Physician surveys were used to evaluate if goals were realistic and feasible, and patient surveys were implemented to evaluate satisfaction. GAS T-scores were used to quantify change in goal achievement.

Results: Ninety-three percent (n=25) of participants were able to establish a minimum of two goals using GAS. 100% of participants were able to rate goal performance at follow-up. Physician survey results identified 100% of goals realistic and 93% achievable and 100% of participants were either neutral or satisfied with the process. Significant improvement was reported in GAS change scores (t(24)=6.54, p<0.001).

Conclusion: Findings support the feasibility of GAS for older adults with multiple chronic conditions in geriatric primary care as a strategy to facilitate patient-centered care and suggest that the process of personalized goal-setting itself may facilitate goal attainment.

Keywords: Chronic conditions; GAS; Older adults; Patient-centered care; Primary care.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Goals*
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration