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Abstract

Allied health professionals (AHPs) acting as consultants to other professionals and workers is an important emerging issue. It has received little research attention, despite this role being central to many AHP job descriptions, particularly senior positions. This exploratory qualitative study, conducted with AHPs and other key informants, examined consultancy in metropolitan, rural and remote settings in Australia. Thirty-nine professionals were interviewed in individual and focus group settings, using semi-structured questions. Analysis of data revealed roles, definitions and processes of consultancy, the influence of the context in which it occurs, and the multi-layered outcomes of consultancy. This led to the drafting of a framework noting roles and relationships of the key actors – consultant, consultee, and client. Further research is required to establish the generalisability of the framework.

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