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Self-assessment of Goal Achievements Within a Gynecological Cancer Rehabilitation Counseling

Adellund Holt, Kamila PhD, RN; Hansen, Dorte G. MD, PhD; Mogensen, Ole MD, DMSc; Jensen, Pernille T. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000567

Background There is an increasing focus on patient involvement in cancer rehabilitation. Goal assessment may improve the patient’s self-management of life after cancer.

Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate whether (1) nurse-led supported goal setting and assessment of goal achievement were feasible in a clinical setting and (2) there was a positive association between women’s goal achievement and their self-assessed global health status (GHS).

Methods Women surgically treated for gynecological cancer were offered rehabilitation counseling consisting of 2 face-to-face sessions and 2 phone calls carried out by a nurse. The Goal Attainment Scale evaluated goal achievement, whereas GHS was assessed with a quality-of-life questionnaire (European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30).

Results One hundred fifty-one women consented to participate; 70% of the women at the first phone call and 72% at the second phone call achieved their goals as “expected” or “more or much more than expected.” Endometrial cancer patients more often achieved their goals than ovarian or cervical cancer patients. Approximately 32% of ovarian and 40% of cervical cancer patients scored their goal achievement “below expected.” The patients’ GHS was not associated with goal attainment measured at each phone call.

Conclusion Goal measurement is feasible in cancer rehabilitation, in both goal setting and goal achievement. Goal achievement less than expected levels in women recovering from ovarian or cervical cancer suggests a need for additional support.

Implications for Practice This study supports goal setting and goal achievement as a feasible approach to improve cancer rehabilitation and that nursing professionals can facilitate individualized rehabilitation efforts.

Author Affiliations: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Odense University Hospital; and Institute of Clinical Research (Drs Holt and Jensen), and Research Unit of General Practice, Institute of Public Health, National Research Centre of Cancer Rehabilitation (Dr G. Hansen), University of Southern Denmark, Odense; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; and Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense (Dr Mogensen).

This study was supported by funding from Gynaecological Department, Odense University Hospital, the Region of Southern Denmark, and the University of Southern Denmark and the grant from Aase and Ejnar Danielsens Fund (10-001143) and the Danish Cancer Research Fund (355).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Kamila Adellund Holt, PhD, RN, Faculty of Health and Technology, Institute of Nursing, Metropolitan University College, Tagensvej 86, 2200 København N, Denmark (

Accepted for publication September 14, 2017.

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