My name is Aleyna Kayım and I’m a fourth-year student in the bachelor’s program in
Occupational Therapy at Hacettepe University, Turkey.
I wanted to write a blog on this subject and share my perspective with you because I believe
that interdisciplinary approaches and the necessity of having this perspective are very
valuable in OT.
Although concepts such as multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary are terms
that I have started to hear since the moment I started the department, I think that I could fully
understand it with a course related to the field during the semester. During the course
content, how different professional groups work with OT in an interdisciplinary environment
was explained with case examples.
INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM AND ITS SCOPE
Mainly interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies; It involves combining two or more
academic disciplines in one activity. Cooperation and communication between health professionals is necessary for interdisciplinary teamwork.
One of the important factors limiting successful interdisciplinary teamwork may be a lack of
understanding of professional boundaries. Limited knowledge of the roles of team members
can lead to ineffective communication and poor professional relationships. These factors
can reduce the quality of client care. One method of facilitating stronger
interdisciplinary teamwork is to define the roles of team members in each discipline.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a framework that states that “for
healthcare professionals to collaborate effectively and improve outcomes, two or more
people from different professional backgrounds must first be provided with opportunities to
learn from each other.”
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY IN THE INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM
As occupational therapists, we are an important member of an interdisciplinary team and can bring
a new perspective to the treatment process. We can use our holistic thinking and clinical skills effectively in an interdisciplinary work environment. We can support the programs from a clinical perspective in the process of analyzing them holistically and making inclusive decisions by examining the possible effects on each client and caregiver. In the right environment, the occupational
therapist can contribute to the structure of the team.
OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS
While the focus of primary effort on clients and caregivers is a necessary context of
effective teamwork, the active participation and the relationship bonds between clients, caregivers and providers are also factors that influence the process. It includes equality and balance within teams, accepting differences and setting professional boundaries. Teams that value their differences and openly explore the dynamics are more likely to work effectively. Insufficient knowledge about each other and misconceptions between professions and sometimes prejudiced perspectives between professional groups can create the main barriers to effective relations. Overcoming barriers depends on healthy communication and planning. In this context;
Adopting open communication that can support understanding of the different roles of team members,
Prioritizing members to benefit from each other’s experiences and encourage partnerships,
It is some of the ways to follow the interdisciplinary approach in the treatment process to progress in a healthy way.The interdisciplinary approach is like a bridge connecting many professional fields and
creates a new perspective that brings together the unique characteristics of each field. I believe that work should be done on this issue and the rehabilitation teams to work with an interdisciplinary perspective based on healthy communication.
Fossey E., Effective interdisciplinary teamwork: An Occupational Therapy Perspective, 2002
Knowledge About and Attitudes of Interdisciplinary Team Members Toward Occupational
Therapy Practice: Implications and Future Directions, 2019
Reed S.M.,Occupational Therapists in the Interdisciplinary Team Setting,2009