Purpose: Collaborative goal setting has been shown to be an effective way to promote client engagement leading to improved outcomes; however, healthcare professionals face challenges when implementing collaborative goal setting into their clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of educational workshops to 1) increase a therapist’s knowledge of motivational interviewing and action planning, 2) promote collaboration between therapists and their patients/clients, 3) promote collaboration between therapists and their interdisciplinary team and 4) increase the ease of implementation of motivational interviewing and action planning skills into a therapist’s clinical practice. Method: A mixed-methods design was utilized. Occupational therapists and physical therapists were recruited via email to participate. Data were collected via online surveys at three different times (before the first educational workshop, after the second workshop, and three months after the second workshop) consisting of quantitative related survey questions assessing the participants’ knowledge, beliefs, actions, and perceived self-efficacy related to motivational interviewing and action planning and qualitative questions focused on typical goal development processes, level of collaboration and challenges associated with developing goals with clients and interdisciplinary team members and anticipated/resultant impact and meaning of participation in the educational workshops. Results: The sample included 19 participants. Quantitative data demonstrated a statistically significant increase in self-scoring related to knowledge, beliefs, and actions when comparing all the pre-education to the post-education scores, except for one (collaboration with interdisciplinary team members). A follow-up analysis on this criterion demonstrated no statistically significant changes over the three-month period, potentially indicative of retention of the material covered. The qualitative data provided further insight into the challenges faced by participants and the perceived benefits of participating in the educational workshops. Conclusion: The educational workshops appeared to be effective in addressing some of the barriers to collaborative goal setting (e.g. lack of time, knowledge/skills, appropriate patients, concern for duplication of services) found in the literature, most notably providing the participants with the knowledge and skills needed, which is the first step when implementing collaborative goal setting into clinical practice. Further research in this area is recommended.

Author Bio(s)

Elena Wong Espiritu, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR, is an Associate Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at Belmont University. Prior to academia, she worked 10 years in the adult physical disabilities setting providing acute care, inpatient acute rehabilitation and outpatient services as a clinician and team coordinator.

Natalie N. Michaels, PT, EdD, GCS Emeritus, is a Physical Therapist and a Professor in the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Departments at Belmont University, College of Health Sciences. She is a Geriatric Clinical Specialist Emeritus through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

Steven Busby, PhD, FNP-BC, has delivered healthcare for 34 years. He worked as an EMT/Paramedic, as an RN in CVICU, ER and as a hospital nursing educator teaching critical care. He has been a family nurse practitioner for 21 years and has 15 years of higher education teaching experience.





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