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Goal Achievement Impacts Spine Patients' Satisfaction

A year after rehab, goal achievement is more important than traditional outcome measures

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic disabling spinal disorders who complete a functional restoration program, goal achievement may be a valuable patient-centered measure of treatment outcome, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of Spine.

Rowland G. Hazard, M.D., of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues mailed surveys to 106 patients, 89 (84 percent) of whom responded and 86 (81 percent) of whom had complete data for analysis. A year after rehabilitation, respondents were asked to indicate levels of importance and achievement for each personal goal, and the researchers integrated these scores to calculate a goal achievement score.

The researchers found that satisfaction with progress was more strongly associated with personal functional goal achievement than with more traditional outcome measures such as pain, disability, fear avoidance, lifting, trunk flexibility, and treadmill endurance.

"The unique contribution of goal achievement was approximately twice that of either pain or function, indicating that goal achievement adds information beyond the more traditional measures of outcome and deserves further study," the authors write.

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