Goal attainment scaling: An idiosyncratic method to assess treatment effectiveness in agoraphobia

  • Edwin de Beurs
  • Alfred Lange
  • Roland W. B. Blonk
  • Peter Koele
  • Anton J. L. M. van Balkom
  • Richard Van Dyck


Goal attainment scaling (GAS) is an individually tailored way to measure treatment gains, using a highly standardized procedure. An advantage of the method is that it takes into account individual characteristics of the patients, and at the same time the data are suitable for quantitative analysis and comparable across patients. Despite the wide acceptance and use of the method in the evaluation of psychotherapy, data on its psychometric properties are rather scarce. In the current study, GAS was used as one of several outcome measures in a research project on the effectiveness of various treatments for panic disorder with agoraphobia. Guidelines for GAS are presented as well as data on the reliability and validity of the procedure. Results indicate that the procedure is reliable, valid, and sensitive to the improvement of patients during treatment. Comparison of GAS with standardized measures revealed considerable concordance, although the clinical end status of patients diverged somewhat dependent on the measure considered.

Key words

goal attainment scaling treatment changes validity panic disorder agoraphobia 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin de Beurs
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alfred Lange
    • 1
  • Roland W. B. Blonk
    • 1
  • Peter Koele
    • 3
  • Anton J. L. M. van Balkom
    • 2
  • Richard Van Dyck
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamWB AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryFree UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of MethodologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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