Creating a Competency Framework for Intersectoral Collaboration Between OTs and Teachers

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Wintle, James
Collaboration , Occupational Therapy , Teacher , School-Based
Current inclusive approaches to education create challenges for teachers, who must meet the educational needs of diverse students. Occupational therapists (OTs) assist some of these students through the provision of school-based occupational therapy (SBOT). Although competency frameworks exist for interprofessional collaboration (e.g., the National Interprofessional Competency Framework [Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative, 2010]), these frameworks conceptualize collaboration as existing across professions within the health care sector. Despite the need for OTs and teachers to work together, there is no competency framework in the collaboration literature to guide the intersectoral collaboration that occurs between these two professions. The objective of this study was to develop a competency framework for collaboration between OTs and teachers. A scoping review (Arksey & O’Malley, 2005) of the literature on tensions in collaboration between OTs and teachers was conducted. A total of 46 unique tensions were charted across 30 articles. This was followed by interviews of OTs (n=5), teachers (n=5), and parents (n=3) with SBOT experience. An inductive analysis of the data was performed to yield 68 themes across 15 superthemes. Methodological triangulation of the data was preformed to create a conceptual framework of collaboration between these two professions. Lastly, based on data from the scoping review and interviews, competency modelling techniques (Marrelli, Tondora, & Hoge, 2005) were used to create a competency framework. A total of 28 competencies were developed across the attitudes, skills, knowledge, behaviours, and beliefs required for collaboration. The competency framework developed in this study rectifies a shortcoming in the literature on collaboration. This competency framework can inform learning opportunities for OTs and teachers and potentially improve collaboration between these two professions.
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