We used conversation analysis of six audio-and video-recorded goal-setting meetings that were attended by patients and their respective treating team to explore and describe the interaction of participants during interdisciplinary goal setting, and to identify the strategies used to agree on goals. The health care professionals involved in the six sessions included four physiotherapists, four occupational therapists, four nurses, one speech and language therapist, and one neuropsychologist. The participants included 3 patients with multiple sclerosis, 2 patients with spinal cord lesions, and 1 patient with stroke from an inpatient neurological rehabilitation unit. Detailed analysis revealed how the treating team shaped the meetings. The most notable finding was that there was rarely a straightforward translation of patient wishes into agreed-on written goals, with the treating team leading goal modification so that goals were achievable. Despite professional dominance, patients also influenced the course of the interaction, particularly when offering resistance to goals proposed by the treating team.
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