Can goal attainment scaling (GAS) accurately identify changes in social communication impairments following TBI?
Finch, E., Copley, A., McLisky, M., Cornwell, P., Fleming, JM., & Doig, E.
ABSTRACT: The overall aim was to assess the clinical utility of Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) as an outcome measure for individuals with social communication impairment secondary to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the post acute phase of recovery. The specific aims of the study were to (1) determine whether the content of the GAS goals would reflect problem areas identified on existing, specific communication measures (Profile of Pragmatic Impairment In Communication (PPIC) and La Trobe Communication Questionnaire (LCQ)), and (2) determine whether GAS was as sensitive or more sensitive to change when compared to the PPIC and LCQ. A pilot pre–post, cohort study design was conducted with seven participants. The PPIC and LCQ were administered and GAS goals were scored before and after a block of metacognitive goal based therapy. Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests were used to determine statistically significant changes on the measures. The content and change on the individual GAS goals and related items on the PPIC and LCQ were also compared. Participants showed a statistically significant improvement on 25 of the 27 GAS goals and no change on two GAS goals. The same change was not evident on the PPIC or LCQ. GAS may be a more sensitive measure of impairment and change in communication than the PPIC and LCQ. In a clinical context, the results of the current study suggest that GAS may be a superior measure for evaluating the effects of social communication treatments than PPIC or LCQ. Further research is required.