A college student has written me regarding writing goals and objectives for individuals with depression and individual in rehabilitation. I’ve written some thoughts below:

 

Here are some thoughts on writing measureable treatment goals and objectives.

It is assumed that that recreational therapy in this setting is under the recommendation and supervision of an attending physician. Recreational therapy is provided as part of an overall multidisciplinary treatment team.

It is assumed that assessment tools have been completed.

 

Here is the process for writing goals and objectives:

Limitation — Identify the problem –

Strengths – identify areas that could help client

Goal — Identify the desired outcome. Either increase (positives/ abilities/ skills) or decrease negatives like pain or problems)

Objective – Write a measurable outcome focused objective. It is easier to measure results if the goal is written in measurable terms. Goals should be small and accomplishable.

Intervention – who is responsible for implementing interventions to assist the patient (person) client in reaching goal?

 

Sample A – acute care – depression

  • Limitation: Client has diagnosis of depression. Client isn’t currently participating in any leisure activities in his daily living prior to being admitted for acute care.
  • Strengths: Client is physically healthy.
  • Goal: Client is to decrease intensity of depression and identify ways to regulate emotions.
  • Objective: Client is to be able to identify at least one activity he can do to cheer up before discharge date (in one week)
  • Intervention: Recreational therapist is to provide patient with three leisure education groups per week (45 minutes per session) to teach client about using activities as a method of emotional regulation for cheering up, providing patient with healthy distraction, and to teach patient how participating in activities can help build social networks and social support. Recreational therapist is to ask client to identify at least one activity he can do to cheer up.

There will be an evaluation at discharge. It is easy to measure. Client is able to identify one activity to cheer up. This could be entered in progress notes before evaluation/ discharge summary.

 

Sample B – physical rehab –

  • Limitation: Client had injury resulting in loss of right leg. Patient has orthopedic leg.
  • Strengths: Client enjoys triathlons and is self-motivated.
  • Goal: Client is to identify resources so she can continue active lifestyle.
  • Objective: Client is to be able to identify at least one community resource to allow her to stay involved in swimming, biking, and running.
  • Intervention: Recreational therapist is to provide patient with leisure education group session three time per week (60 minutes per session) to teach client about available resources in the community. – Note this recreational therapist probably has already created a binder of resources for people as well.

This will be easy to measure at evaluation time. Was patient able to identify one community resource? It is hopeful that the client can identify more than one.

Here is another physical rehab goal for this same client:

  • Limitation: balance
  • Strength: client enjoys fitness activities
  • Goal: enhance balance
  • Objective: client is to be able to stand for at least 5 consecutive minutes
  • Intervention: Recreational therapist is to provide patient with at least two physical strength endurance training per week (15 minutes per session) to help patient to build endurance.

Evaluation will be easy. Did patient stand for at least 5 consecutive minutes.

 

In addition, consult with agencies case manager and social worker about writing goals. As a practicum student: be sure to participate in at least one patient’s treatment team meeting (to learn about this process). It can be intimidating at first. You’ll learn. You’ll grow. One day you’ll help teach a young recreational therapist how to do the same.