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Scaling and attainment of goals in family-focused early intervention

Evaluating the impact of early intervention as a means to prevent or ameliorate developmental disabilities has been a long standing problem and the issue of effectiveness continues to be debated. This study explored the utility of Goal Attainment Scaling as a planning and evaluation tool whereby intervention outcomes for infants and families could be documented. The 23 families in this study were participants in a larger research effort evaluating the implementation of community based, family-focused intervention. An average of 5.9 goals were written for each family, with approximately 60% of goals written for infants and 40% for families. Attainment of goals was evident in a mean T-score of 51.9 for post-test values and in documentation that approximately two-thirds of all goals were attained at least at the expected level. The practical features of Goal Attainment Scaling and the correspondence of goal attainment scores with other measures of change suggest that it may be a valuable approach to complement traditional evaluation strategies


Simeonsson, R. J., Bailey, D., Huntington, G. S., & Brandon, L. (1991). Scaling and attainment of goals in family-focused early intervention. Community Mental Health Journal, 27(1), 77-83. DOI: 10.1007/BF00752717

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