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Relevant publications and other useful resources

On this page you will not only find articles that may be of interest, but also useful websites to learn more about Goal-Oriented Care. 

Relevant Resources & Search Strategies

Below is a compiled list of some useful articles to review if you want to learn more about Goal-Oriented Care. We are always looking to grow our list of resources and share information about innovative new articles so please contact us if you feel there is something that should be added to this list. 


​Mold JW, Blake GH, and Becker LA. Goal-Oriented Medical Care. Family Medicine 1991; 23: 46-51.

The problem-oriented model upon which much of modern medical care is based has resulted in tremendous advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of many illnesses. Unfortunately, it is less well suited to the management of a number of modern health care problems, including chronic incurable illnesses, health promotion and disease prevention, and normal life events such as pregnancy, well-child care, and death and dying. It is not particularly conducive to an interdisciplinary team approach and tends to shift control of health away from the patient and toward the physician. Since when using this approach the enemies are disease and death, defeat is inevitable. Proposed here is a goal-oriented approach that is well suited to a greater variety of health care issues, is more compatible with a team approach, and places a greater emphasis on physician-patient collaboration. Each individual is encouraged to achieve the highest possible level of health as defined by that individual. Characterized by a greater emphasis on individual strengths and resources, this approach represents a more positive approach to health care. The enemy, not disease or death but inhumanity, can almost always be averted.

Grudniewicz A, Nelson M, Kuluski K, et al. Treatment goal setting for complex patients: protocol for a scoping review. BMJ Open 2016;6:e011869. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011869

Introduction: An increasing number of people are living longer with multiple health and social care needs, and may rely heavily on health system resources. When dealing with multiple conditions, patients, caregivers and healthcare providers (HCPs) often experience high treatment burden due to unclear care trajectories, a myriad of treatment decisions and few guidelines on how to manage care needs. By understanding patient and caregiver priorities, and setting treatment goals, HCPs may help improve patient outcomes and experiences. This study aims to examine the extent and nature of the literature on treatment goal setting in complex patients, identify gaps in evidence and areas for further inquiry and guide a research programme to develop definitions, measures and recommendations for treatment goal setting.

Methods and analysis: This study protocol outlines a scoping review of the peer reviewed and the grey literature, using established scoping review methodology. Literature will be identified using a multidatabase and grey literature search strategy developed by two librarians. Papers and reports on the topic of goal setting that address complexity or complex patients will be included. Results of the search will be screened independently by two reviewers and included studies will be abstracted and charted in duplicate.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval is not required for this scoping review. Working with the knowledge users on the team, we will prepare educational materials and presentations to disseminate study findings to HCPs, caregivers and patients, and at relevant national and international conferences. Results will also be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Mold J (February 21, 2017) Goal-Directed Health Care: Redefining Health and Health Care in the Era of Value-Based Care. Cureus 9(2): e1043. doi:10.7759/cureus.1043

Health care reform efforts have increasingly emphasized payment models that reward value (quality/cost). It seems appropriate, therefore, to examine what we value in health care, and that will require that we examine our definition of health. In spite of admonitions from the World Health Organization and others, our current health care system operates under the assumption that health represents the absence of health problems. While that perspective has led to incredible advances in medical science, it now may be adversely affecting value. Problem-oriented care is clearly one of the drivers of rising costs and it could be adversely affecting the quality of care, depending upon how quality is defined. 

If we redefined health in terms of patient-centered goals, health care could be focused more directly on meaningful outcomes, reducing the number of irrelevant tests and treatments. Greater emphasis would be placed on prevention, meaningful activities, advance directives and personal growth and development. The role of patients within clinician-patient relationships would be elevated, strengthening therapeutic relationships. Reframing health in terms of health-related goals and directing the health care system to help people achieve them, could both improve quality and reduce costs. In the process, it could also make health care less mechanical and more humane.

Steele Gray C, Grudniewicz A, Armas A, Mold J, Im J, Boeckxstaens P. Goal-Oriented Care: A Catalyst for Person-Centred System Integration. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2020;20(4):8. DOI:

Introduction: Person-centred integrated care is often at odds with how current health care systems are structured, resulting in slower than expected uptake of the model worldwide. Adopting goal-oriented care, an approach which uses patient priorities, or goals, to drive what kinds of care are appropriate and how care is delivered, may offer a way to improve implementation.

Description: This case report presents three international cases of community-based primary health care models in Ottawa (Canada), Vermont (USA) and Flanders (Belgium) that adopted goal-oriented care to stimulate clinical, professional, organizational and system integration. The Rainbow Model of Integrated Care is used to demonstrate how goal-oriented care drove integration at all levels.

Discussion: The three cases demonstrate how goal-oriented care has the potential to catalyse integrated care. Exploration of these cases suggests that goal-oriented care can serve to activate formative and normative integration mechanisms; supporting processes that enable integrated care, while providing a framework for a shared philosophy of care.

Lessons learned: By establishing a common vision and philosophy to drive shared processes, goal-oriented care can be a powerful tool to enable integrated care delivery. Offering plenty of opportunities for training in goal-oriented care within and across teams is essential to support this shift.

Websites & Other Resources

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