OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate patients’ perspectives of the validity of the Self-Identified Goals Assessment (SIGA), which is designed for use by occupational therapists working in subacute rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities. The SIGA has two primary purposes: (a) to help the patient identify personally meaningful occupational goals to be addressed in therapy and (b) to evaluate changing levels of patient-defined success in desired occupations.

METHOD. Participants (20 women, 10 men) were patients with varied diagnosed conditions at a hospital-based subacute facility. Their mean age was 73.4 years (SD = 12.2). The SIGA was administered by the patients’ regular occupational therapy practitioner after admission and before discharge; a graduate student followed up each administration of the SIGA by asking participants fixed-alternative and open-ended questions about the usefulness of the assessment. Fixed-alternative questions were analyzed as simple dichotomies, and open-ended questions were analyzed through categorization into convergent and divergent themes across participants.

RESULTS. Twenty-nine of the 30 participants confirmed the personal meaningfulness of goals identified in the SIGA admissions interview, and 28 reported that they thought the SIGA helped the therapist realize what was personally important to them. On admission, 9 participants reported difficulty quantifying their performance on the 0-to-10 scale; however, 27 reported that their scores were accurate self-assessments. Participants’ perspectives of the SIGA tended to be particularly positive at discharge.

CONCLUSION. Given the lack of efficient, structured approaches to the measurement of self-identified goals in subacute and skilled nursing facilities, the SIGA tentatively is recommended for use in these settings, pending future research.

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