Goals inspire us and give us milestones to work toward. Writing effective pediatric occupational therapy goals is especially important for the success of your patients and your practice. Goals establish a structure for planning and tracking progress while providing ongoing motivation for both you and your patients. Having a set of established goals for each patient allows other professionals to work productively with your patient when you are out. And they speed up the reimbursement process by reducing the chance of your claim being rejected. Perhaps most importantly, effectively-written goals have been proven to improve patient outcomes. In this post, we’ll look at three formats for goal-writing and offer effective examples of pediatric occupational therapy goals.
3 Formats for Pediatric Occupational Therapy Goal-WritingThere’s no one right format for goal-writing. You’ll want to make sure each goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), but you have flexibility in how you structure the goals. Here are three formats for goal-writing to consider:
PCCThe PCC method of writing pediatric occupational therapy goals focuses on performance, condition, and criterion. It’s the simplest format, but you’ll want to be sure to include additional supporting content like assistance level, timeline, or mastery component if relevant.
- Performance — Activity the patient is expected to perform
- Condition — The context or the condition for that performance
- Criterion — The qualifications for the performance, or how well the patient is expected to perform
COASTThe COAST method was introduced in Gateley & Borcherding’s text “Documentation Manual for Occupational Therapy.” This framework is helpful when you want to focus on establishing explicit timelines for goal achievement or addressing specific occupations with your goals. The acronym COAST stands for:
- Client task — What the client will perform
- Occupation — The occupation that the goal targets
- Assist — The level of assistance that will be allowed with the goal
- Specific condition(s) — The condition(s) in which the goal will be achieved
- Timeline — The time in which the goal will be achieved
RUMBAThis framework for goal writing was introduced by the 11th edition of Willard & Spackman’s “Occupational Therapy.” It ensures the goals are understandable and measurable.
- Relevant — The function the goal aims to achieve
- Understandable — Ensuring the child and their parents will understand the goal
- Measurable — How the goal will be measured
- Behavioral — The behavior occurrences the goal aims to address
- Achievable — The expectation your patient can achieve the stated goal within the time allotment