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Katie M. Polo, DHS, OTR, CLT-LANA

Susan M. Cahill, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate school nurses’ perspectives related to interprofessional collaboration to support health promotion and development of self-management skills of students with diabetes.

Method: A link to an on-line survey was sent to 312 school nurses. The survey included 11 items pertaining to the nurses’ perceptions.

Results: The majority of the respondents (91.8%, n = 56) reported that instruction and maintenance of diabetes self-management skills would benefit from an interprofessional team. Few of the respondents (20.8%, n = 11) identified occupational therapy practitioners as possible collaborators. Nearly two-thirds (62.7%, n = 37) of the respondents suggested that students’ lack of incorporated self-management strategies into their daily routines was a concern. Half of the nurses (50%, n = 30) believed that students were concerned with how to process their emotional reactions related to diabetes, and most of the respondents (80.33%, n = 49) identified the need for students to develop strategies to deal with unanticipated events around diabetes management.

Discussion: Diabetes is complex, and students with diabetes would benefit from an interprofessional team approach at school. More research is needed to understand why occupational therapy practitioners were infrequently endorsed by school nurses as possible collaborators.