Strategies for Effective Collaboration among Multidisciplinary Teams: Integration of an ABA Professional

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Schroeder, Elizabeth; Lynch, Kalene; Turgeon, Allison
Tacoma, Washington
Collaboration; Multidisciplinary Teams; Applied Behavior Analysis; Occupational Therapy
article description
Our collaborating practitioner (CP), Kari Tanta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, manages Valley Medical Center which is a multidisciplinary pediatric outpatient therapy clinic. Dr. Tanta was seeking research to support incorporating an applied behavior analysis (ABA) professional into VMC’s practice. The focused question became, “What are strategies to promote successful collaboration when integrating a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) into an established multidisciplinary pediatric clinic to promote best practice for clients?” From September 2016 - January 2017, 26 articles were analyzed using a critically appraised topic (CAT) table. The literature indicated effective health care team collaboration yields positive patient outcomes, provided strategies for successful collaboration, and provided information pertaining directly to BCBA professionals.To support knowledge translation for clinicians practicing at the facility, our CP recommended an electronic resource in the form of a word document. The resource provides a quick reference guide for occupational therapists (OT) and speech language pathologists (SLP) to understand what ABA is, barriers and supports to collaboration with an ABA professional, and tips for overall effective collaboration to support best practice for clients. Resource outcome effectiveness was monitored with a peer-review survey. It is recommended that the clinicians engage in self-reflection on the usefulness of the strategies and activities provided in the resource for their future collaborative teaming efforts with BCBA professionals. Documenting these reflections will help fill a gap in the existing literature on this topic.