A multinational online survey of the goal setting practice of rehabilitation staff with stroke survivors with aphasia

Sophie Eleanor Brown*, Lesley Scobbie, Linda Worrall, Marian C. Brady

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
166 Downloads (Pure)


Goal setting is an essential rehabilitation activity. However, multidisciplinary rehabilitation staff goal-setting practice with stroke survivors with aphasia and associated training needs are not well understood.

We designed, piloted, and conducted a survey of stroke rehabilitation staff in the UK, Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada, Ireland. Analysis included descriptive statistics, chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests, and qualitative content analysis.

We received 251 responses from 118 SLTs and 133 non-SLTs. Most reported setting goals with most or all people with aphasia (78%, 197/251); 57% (138/244) rarely or never provided an accessible copy of goals. All disciplines reported significantly less confidence setting goals with people with aphasia than without aphasia (p = 0.012, n = 119). Barriers to goal setting included the communication impairment (especially severe aphasia) and poor insight. Staff described feeling ill-equipped to support people with aphasia in goal setting; only 27% (67/251) had accessed training to do so.

Rehabilitation staff described involving stroke survivors with aphasia in goal setting but lacked confidence doing so and receive inadequate training and support. Training should target multidisciplinary staff confidence and communication support strategies and resources so that people with aphasia and families are supported as goal-setting partners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-503
Number of pages25
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2023


  • aphasia
  • stroke
  • rehabilitation
  • goal setting
  • accessibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • General Health Professions
  • Language and Linguistics
  • LPN and LVN
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Linguistics and Language


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