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Goal-Oriented Care

Friends On A Walk

A definition of health

Goal-oriented health care, also known as goal-directed health care, goal-oriented medical care, and patient priorities care, is a form of health care delivery that is based on achieving individualized goals that are created through collaborative conversations between individuals and providers in health care settings.


It is a form of person-centered care as the goals are unique to the individual and direct the plan of care. This is in contrast to problem-oriented or disease-driven care where the focus is on correcting biological abnormalities. 

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What is a goal? 

As the term is used in goal-oriented care, a Goal is a desired outcome about which it makes little or no sense to ask "so that ...?". Living longer, being able to participate in specific activities, building psychological resilience, and dying at home when death at the end of life are examples of goals.  

Objectives are measurable steps on the path toward a goal. Reducing the risk of a heart attack is an example of an objective. (Reducing the risk of a heart attack so that you will live longer.)

Strategies are actions taken to achieve objectives and ultimately a goal. Taking a statin is an example of a strategy for reducing the risk of heart attacks in order to live longer.

Goal-Oriented Care in Practice 

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In 2019 the Dr. Daniël De Coninck Fund in partnership with the International GOCLC hosted a Summer Academy where attendees explored the undoubted potential of this new and wide-ranging concept. In the resulting report titled "Goal-Oriented Care: A Shared Language and Co-Creative Practice for Health and Social Care" tools, cases and practices from Belgium, Canada and the United States focused on goal-oriented care were presented and discussed.


This report offers insight into what has been done in practice so far, and considers what still needs to be done to further implement and use goal-oriented care in future practice.


Read more on the work being done on Goal-Oriented Care in Belgium and the United States.  

Similar and Relevant Concepts to Goal-Oriented Care

Person or Patient Centred Care

Whole Person Approach

Shared Decision-Making

Narrative Medicine

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