An exploratory analysis of the self-reported goals of individuals with chronic upper-extremity paresis following stroke

Kimberly J. Waddell, Rebecca L. Birkenmeier, Marghuretta D. Bland, Catherine E. Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: To classify the self-identified goals of individuals post-stroke with chronic upper extremity (UE) paresis, and determine if age, UE functional capacity and pre-stroke hand dominance influence overall goal selection. Method: Sixty-five subjects participated. Using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) to establish treatment goals, the top five goals were categorized using the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework into five categories: activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), leisure, work and general UE movement. A Chi-square analysis determined if age, UE functional capacity (measured by the Action Research Arm Test) and UE hand dominance influenced individual goal selection. Results: The majority of goals were in the ADL (37%) and IADL (40%) categories. A small percentage (12%) was related to general UE movement. Individuals with moderate UE functional capacity identified more ADL goals than those with higher UE functional capacity. There was not a difference between age and UE dominance across all five goal areas. Conclusions: Individuals with chronic UE paresis had specific goals that were not influenced by age or hand dominance, but partially influenced by severity. General UE movement goals were identified less than goals related to specific activities. ▸ Implications for Rehabilitation • Considering the specificity of individual goals following stroke, it is recommended that clinicians regularly utilize a goal setting tool to help establish client goals. • It is recommended that clinicians further inquire about general goals in order to link upper extremity deficits to functional activity limitations. • Age, upper extremity functional capacity and hand dominance have little influence on the rehabilitation goals for individuals with chronic paresis after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-857
Number of pages5
JournalDisability and rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 23 2016


  • Function
  • goal setting
  • movement
  • stroke
  • upper extremity


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