Propositions of King’s Goal Attainment Theory as adapted from the book of Alligood and Tomey:
  • If perceptual interaction accuracy is present in nurse-client interactions, transaction will occur.
  • If nurse and client make transaction, goal will be attained
  • If goals are attained, satisfaction will occur
  • If transactions are made in nurse-client interactions, growth & development will be enhanced
  • If role expectations and role performance as perceived by nurse & client are congruent, transaction will occur
  • If role conflict is experienced by nurse or client or both, stress in nurse-client interaction will occur 
  • If nurse with special knowledge skill communicate appropriate information to client, mutual goal setting and goal attainment will occur.

The theory of Imogene Kings starts with a person who has a health need which can be classified into three: 1.) need for health information which is usable, 2.) need for care that seeks to prevent illness and 3.) need for care when human beings are unable to help themselves (King in George, 1995, p.221).  The person’s perception of his need is affected by several factors like his awareness of his existence, growth and development, body-image and learning (Alligood and Tomey, 2002).

His goal is to satisfy his need and for him to be able to fulfill it, he has to ask for help from other sources.  He can ask from a nurse or anyone from his environment.  When he communicates with a nurse or another person, the perceptions of these people towards his need are also affected by the elements that are also present in him.  Through verbal and non-verbal means, an interaction is being made between the person and the nurse (Anonuevo, et. al, 2000) .  The environment, according to King, is essential for achieving goals due to its material and human resources (King in George, 1995, p.221) and therefore, the person also interacts with the environment.

The interaction of the person and the nurse is goal-directed (King in George, 1995, p.217) and through this, both parties reach a common and accurate perception of the problem and means are explored on how to resolve it.  After the means exploration, goal-setting is made which is subject for agreement.  Finally, transaction happens when the agreed goals are acted upon and necessary actions are taken to achieve them.  Finally, if the goals are attained, satisfaction will occur and the health need fulfilled.

In a figure the group created, the Goal Attainment Theory of King is likened to a sling shot (see figure below).  The frame is the person who has a health need. For him to achieve his health need, he communicates his perception of his need with a nurse (another person) and to the elements of the environment. His perception is affected by several factors like his learning and growth and development as stated by Araceli Ocampo Balabagno in the N207 module.

With his communication to the nurse and the environment, their perceptions are also influenced by the same factors that have affected him in the establishment of his perception. Through interaction, an accurate representation of his perception is realized by the nurse and the environment where means to explore the goal are discovered. The person in his connection with the nurse in particular, reaches a goal which is mutually-agreed upon by parties involved.

In the sling shot, the pocket where the stone is placed, serves as the area for transaction. It will only happen if the person executes the steps planned together with the nurse. In the case of the figure, transaction happens when the person uses the sling shot to propel the stone to hit the target (goal) which makes goal attainment possible.

1. Alligood M.R, Tomey. A.M.(2002). Nursing Theory Utilization and Application. 2nd Ed. Philadelphia;Mosby
2.  Anonuevo, C.A, et al. (2000).Theoretical Foundations of Nursing. Philippines: UP Open University
3. George, J. B. , (Ed). (1995). Nursing theories: A base for professional nursing practice.  Connecticut: Appleton and Lange.
4. Imogene King: Theory of Goal Attainment.  Retrieved July 13, 2011, from Nursing Library: