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Goal-oriented care: an understanding on how primary healthcare professionals operationalize goal-oriented care in three different settings (Ghent, Vermont, and Ottawa)

Authors:

Dagje Boeykens ,

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ghent University. Belguim 2: Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ghent University., BE
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An De Sutter,

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ghent University., BE
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Patricia De Vriendt,

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ghent University. Belguim Department of Occupational Therapy. Artevelde University of Applied Sciences, BE
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Agnes Grudniewicz,

Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, CA
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Lies Lahousse,

Department of Bioanalysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, BE
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Peter Pype,

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ghent University. End-of-Life Care Research Group, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. VUB and Ghent University, BE
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Carolyn Steele Gray,

Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, CA
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Dominique Van de Velde,

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ghent University. Belguim Department of Occupational Therapy. Artevelde University of Applied Sciences, BE
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Pauline Boeckxstaens

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Ghent University., BE
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Abstract

Introduction: In a world where the prevalence of chronic conditions is increasing, the importance of a strong primary care system cannot be underestimated. One of the suggested strategies for person-centered integration of care is to explicitly focus on the patients’ goals; or in other words a focus on goal-oriented care (GOC). To make GOC more applicable, it is important to build an understanding on how it should be provided in practice. Therefore, it is vital to not only learn from literature, but foremost of primary healthcare professionals themselves on how they operationalize GOC.

Aims, objectives, theory or methods: This study explored how primary healthcare professionals operationalize GOC in their practice. Therefore, professionals were recruited in different primary care settings in Ottawa (Canada), Vermont (USA), and Flanders (Belgium). A two-step approach of a deductive and inductive analysis was used to analyze the in-depth interviews. Firstly - with the aim to validate the literature - the theoretical framework that emerged from the concept analysis on GOC, was used as a lens for the deductive analysis. Secondly, an inductive thematic analyses following Sundler was performed to expand the theoretical knowledge with insights from practice. All interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim.

Highlights or results or key findings: When looking at the data trough a deductive lens, the theoretical framework - presenting a stepwise approach of GOC with the phases of goal-elicitation, goal-setting, and goal-evaluation and the patients’ needs and preferences as a common thread – could be confirmed. However such a linear approach in one-on-one interactions, as emerged from the literature, could not be determined. The dynamic and iterative character of GOC should be more emphasized. The inductive analysis revealed three main themes that were not described in the concept analysis: 1) involving the patients, 2) interprofessional collaboration, and 3) the use of tools or guidance. The participants involved their patients by communicating in a constructive dialogue and informing them about their health status. Interprofessional collaboration allowed the participants to bring all different expertise - who could support the patients to work towards their goals – together. Finally, participants used tools to support the process of eliciting and setting patients’ personal goals.

Conclusions:The findings validated the theoretical framework emerged from the literature. Besides this validation, we learn from practice that professionals made use of tools to support goal-elicitation, goal-setting, and to prepare interprofessional meetings. All this with the overall aim to encourage patients to actively take part in their care.

Implications for applicability/ transferability, sustainability, and limitations: This study allowed us to go beyond the theoretical knowledge of GOC and build on experiences of primary healthcare professionals from different disciplines, settings, and countries. This is needed to gain a full understanding on GOC and explore the elements that go along with providing GOC. 

How to Cite: Boeykens D, De Sutter A, De Vriendt P, Grudniewicz A, Lahousse L, Pype P, et al.. Goal-oriented care: an understanding on how primary healthcare professionals operationalize goal-oriented care in three different settings (Ghent, Vermont, and Ottawa). International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):253. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.ICIC22124
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Published on 04 Nov 2022.

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