Credentials Display

Christine Rocchio Mueller, OTD, OTR/L, c/NDT, ATP

Mindy Garfinkel, OTD, OTR/L, ATP


Background: Birth to 3 years of age is a critical period in a child’s development, and occupational therapy intervention during this period can serve many purposes. While pediatric occupational therapists may be working in different settings with different specialties, the foundational knowledge all occupational therapists possess provides a common lens through which they approach treatment. Intraprofessional collaboration is considered best practice, as it is not uncommon for young children to receive occupational therapy services by more than one therapist, and in more than one practice setting at the same time.

Method: This study used a qualitative, phenomenological approach. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews.

Results: Following thematic analysis, five themes emerged from the data with regard to intradisciplinary collaboration. They include (a) the discrepancy between best practice and actual practice, (b) systemic differences between practice contexts, (c) varying perceptions of competency, (d) the impact of therapists’ professional boundaries and behaviors, and (e) the role of the parent/caregiver on the intradisciplinary collaborative process.

Conclusion: All of the participants were able to define and express the value of collaboration. The therapists reported that contributing variables that either facilitate or pose barriers to intraprofessional collaborative relationships are individualized and include communication style, motivation, and the need for system advocacy.


The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This study has previously been presented as a poster at the 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual conference in New Orleans, LA. In addition, this study was completed as part of a post graduate doctoral capstone research study.