Skip to main content
The ICF-CY and Goal Attainment Scaling: Benefits of their combined use for pediatric practice
Disability and Rehabilitation
  • Janette McDougall, Western University
  • Virginia Wright, Bloorview Research Institute
Document Type
Publication Date
URL with Digital Object Identifier

Purpose. There is much heterogeneity and disconnect in the approaches used by service providers to conduct needs assessments, set goals and evaluate outcomes for clients receiving pediatric rehabilitation services. The purpose of this article is to describe how the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-Child and Youth (ICF-CY) can be used in combination with Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS), an individualised measure of change, to connect the various phases of the therapeutic process to provide consistent clinical care that is family-centred, collaborative, well directed and accountable.

Method. A brief description of both the ICF-CY and GAS as they pertain to pediatric rehabilitation is provided as background. An explanation is given of how the ICF-CY offers a framework through which clients, families and service providers can together identify the areas of clients' needs. In addition, the article discusses how the use of GAS facilitates translation of clients' identified needs into distinct, measurable goals set collaboratively by clients, their families and service providers. Examples of integrated GAS goals set for the various components of the ICF-CY are provided. The utility of GAS as a measure of clinical outcomes for individual clients is also discussed.

Conclusions. Used in combination, the ICF-CY and GAS can serve to coordinate, simplify and standardise assessment and outcome evaluation practices for individual clients receiving pediatric rehabilitation services.

Citation Information
Janette McDougall and Virginia Wright. "The ICF-CY and Goal Attainment Scaling: Benefits of their combined use for pediatric practice" Disability and Rehabilitation Vol. 31 Iss. 16 (2009) p. 1362 - 1372
Available at: