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Goal Attainment Scaling: Overview

Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) is a method of scoring the extent to which patient’s individual goals are achieved in the course of intervention. In effect, each patient has their own outcome measure but this is scored in a standardised way as to allow statistical analysis. 

Traditional standardised measures include a standard set of tasks (items) each rated on a standard level. In GAS, tasks are individually identified to suit the patient, and the levels are individually set around their current and expected levels of performance. 

GAS was first introduced in the 1960’s for assessing outcomes in mental health care settings by Kirusek and Sherman (1968). It is now used very widely across many areas of healthcare including elderly care, chronic pain management, and rehabilitation.

Potential disadvantages of Goal Attainment Scaling as originally described are that it can be time consuming and clinicians sometimes dislike using numerical ratings and a complicated formula. Further developments have included.


  • A simplified approach for use in a busy clinical setting (the GAS-light).
  • Structured goal setting for specific areas of care (e.g. the GAS-eous and GAS-legs for management of upper and lower limb spasticity).


On this page, you will be able to find the impact, the details of the software, and the overview of the tool.


  • GAS is not a measure of outcome per se but a measure of the achievement of intention – did we achieve what we set out to achieve?
  • It involves a collaborative partnership between the treating team and the patient to set the goals that matter most to the individual.
  • It can be used to foster goal management training to help patients to regain control over their own goal setting and monitoring.
  • The person-centred focus provides a highly flexible and sensitive measure, but the lack of direct comparison means that other standardised measures need to be collected alongside.


An electronic GAS calculation sheet written in Microsoft Excel is available to calculate baseline, achieved and change T-scores.

In the UK, GAS scores can be recorded alongside the other measures of need, input and outcome within the software for the UK Rehabilitation Outcomes Collaborative national clinical dataset for rehabilitation (UK ROC).



Contact us

For further information or copies of GAS or UK ROC Software and User-guide, please contact:

+44 020 8869 5161


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