Strategies to promote family–professional collaboration: two case reports
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PURPOSE: Although research supports family-professional collaboration, challenges to implementation have been reported. The case reports describe the implementation of a 4-step practice model that incorporates specific strategies to facilitate family-professional collaboration. METHOD: The participants were two mothers of children with physical disabilities and two physical therapists. Therapists received instruction in the strategies for collaboration including client-centred interview, visualising a preferred future, scaling questions, and family routine and activity matrix. The intervention was implemented during 6-weekly sessions. The 2nd and 5th sessions were videotaped to analyse the interactions between the parent and therapist using Response Class Matrix. Telephone interviews were conducted to explore participants' experiences. RESULTS: Therapists were able to implement all strategies following 6 h of instruction. Analysis of the videotapes indicated that mother-therapist interactions were characterised by sharing information and open communication in a mutually supportive manner. Interviews with the mothers and therapists indicated that the therapists engaged the mothers in the intervention process and tailored interventions to child and family needs. The scaling questions were difficult to implement (therapists) and answer (parents). CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that the strategies can be used by therapists to promote collaboration and involve parents in setting goals and the intervention process. Implications for Rehabilitation Strategies to promote parent-therapist collaboration include client-centred interview, visualising a preferred future, scaling questions, and family routine and activity matrix. Therapists with no previous instruction or training on family-centred services successfully implemented the strategies following 6 h of instruction. Interactions between two parent-physical therapist dyads were characterised by sharing information and open communication in a mutually supportive manner following therapist instruction in strategies for parent-therapist collaboration.
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