Collaborative consultation has been widely adopted in school-based occupational therapy practice; however, limited research has examined how collaboration between educators and occupational therapists contributes to students’ outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe the nature of collaborative working in two cases of school-based occupational therapy service delivery. This paper reports a cross-case analysis, comparing findings about the nature of a joint effort in each case study to identify workplace practices that facilitated educator-occupational therapist collaboration. Ethnographic case study methods (Stake, 1995; Wolcott, 2008) and socio-cultural activity theory (SCAT; Engeström, 2001) were used to examine multiple perspectives concerning school-based occupational therapy collaborative consultation for two students with developmental disability in one region of Ontario, Canada. Cross-case analysis (Stake, 2006) facilitated examination of the similarities and differences in teamwork. Specific ways that educator-occupational therapist collaboration can be facilitated were identified in three areas: (a) focus for educational programming; (b) communication practices; and (c) leadership practices of educators. SCAT provided a robust framework for describing the depth, quality, and context of interactions from multiple stakeholder perspectives. As such, this research contributes to the development of theoretical and empirical perspectives on the processes of collaborative working and the relationship of these processes to outcomes.


Collaboration, Consultation, School Health Services, Occupational Therapy, Socio-cultural Activity Theory, Ethnographic Case Study, Cross-case Analysis

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




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