OBJECTIVE To determine which sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients admitted to a general activation service (GAS) are predictive of discharge to patients' discharge goal locations (DGLs). DESIGN Prospective cohort study. SETTING Rehabilitation and complex continuing care hospital in southern Ontario, Canada. PARTICIPANTS Patients admitted from January 2000 to December 2002 (N=154). INTERVENTION The GAS. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Patients indicated on their service applications where they wanted to be discharged. This is termed the DGL. RESULTS Fifty-three percent of the sample were discharged to their DGLs. Ninety-eight percent of these patients were discharged by 9 months. Eighty-seven percent who were discharged to their DGLs were discharged to their own home. Predictors of being discharged to the DGL were better activities of daily living scores, good vision, and having sufficient help at home. Expert clinician opinion of the likelihood of each patient being discharged to his/her DGL, based on initial assessment, was also predictive of each patient's eventual discharge to his/her DGL. CONCLUSIONS The GAS has a 53% success rate in discharging patients to their DGLs. Variables have been identified that should be useful in predicting whether patients will be discharged to their DGLs. Our findings are meaningful and informative in determining future admission criteria for the service.