Purpose: The transdisciplinary practice model is currently being promoted as best practice in early intervention therapy for children with disabilities. However, supporting literature is limited. Thus, the question is asked, “What are service providers' understanding and perception of the transdisciplinary model in early intervention settings for children with disabilities?” Method: A systematic review was carried out using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews. An electronic search was conducted via six databases. Eight articles were selected. Results: Four studies predominantly focused on service providers’ perspectives of the model using semi-structured interviews or surveys. Many studies were of adequate to low quality, and the methods of implementing the transdisciplinary approach varied across organisations. It is therefore difficult to draw valid conclusions based on service provider’s viewpoints of the model. Conclusions: This review attempted to determine if the transdisciplinary model is best practice. The inconsistencies in the transdisciplinary teams indicates that overall, the general understanding of the model and its framework amongst organisations is poor. Further research is needed to establish service providers’ understanding of the model and how transdisciplinary teams are functioning since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Author Bio(s)

Eimear Fitzmaurice, OT, B(OT Hons), was a fourth year honours student in occupational therapy at Edith Cowan University when this manuscript was first submitted. She has now graduated and works as an occupational therapist. She also volunteers occasionally with a disability services organisation in Perth.

Matthew Wittorf, BPHE, BSc(OT), Grad Cert BA, Grad Cert of NFP Leadership and Mgt, M Phil (OT), is the Manager at Deafblind Services since 2013. He previously worked at Senses Australia where he was Manager of Life Skills and Family Services. He is currently a Board Member of Deafblind International and holds the position of Secretary.

The primary supervisor is Dr Janet Richmond, OT, B(OT Hons), MOT, PhD. She completed her undergraduate degree, honours and Master’s degrees in South Africa, and her PhD in Australia. She is the occupational therapy honours coordinator. Janet has supervised numerous honours students to completion, is active in research in a variety of areas and co-supervises three PHD students.


I would like to thank Professor Janet Richmond for assistance with and providing constant feedback that greatly improved this manuscript.




Submission Location


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