Table 3

Defining meaningful progress

Key themeDescription of themeExemplar quote
Clinicians are happy with progress provided they observe a positive trajectory (regardless of the magnitude of change).Monitoring meaningful change in patients is hard, and no one number is ever going to be meaningful for every patient. Clinicians instead tend to look for a positive trajectory and judge, based on their own clinical experience, whether progress is satisfactory or not.‘I think that’s a really open, difficult thing to answer, but you don’t want to also spend six weeks doing a program and then having come back with a one point change on your VISA.’ (Participant 8)
‘It would be more like a trend, I guess there’s no specific set number, but like a positive trend, you know, towards the higher numbers.’ (Participant 10)
‘Wanting to see a two to three point drop… but again, it really depends if they are only a three out of 10 versus if they're at an eight out of 10, it’s going to be more based on a percentage.’ (Participant 7)
Clinicians tend to have a finish goal they expect a patient to achieve.While clinicians may not have clear increments of improvement, they expect to see over time they often have a goal they expect to see achieved for the relevant outcome measure before allowing a patient to progress rehabilitation.‘You would certainly not want to be, in my opinion, progressing that run distance until the calf rises are probably close to 25.’ (Participant 11)
‘For the calf raise then, I mean, really depends on his level of fitness beforehand, but using, say the other side as an example, I’d be then thinking, okay, what we’d want to be getting at least to there, but probably a bit higher. And I’d be looking at 20–25 I think, for a running athlete.’ (Participant 7)
  • VISA, Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment.