Therapists' experiences and perceptions of team work in neurological rehabilitation. Reasoning behind the team approach structure and composition of the team and team working processes
SUDDICK, KITTY and De Souza, L. (2006) Therapists' experiences and perceptions of team work in neurological rehabilitation. Reasoning behind the team approach structure and composition of the team and team working processes Physiotherapy Research International, 11 (2). pp. 72-86. ISSN 1358-2267
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Teamwork and the interdisciplinary team approach have been strongly advocated for use in the provision of neurological rehabilitation services. However, whether teamwork has been adopted, and in what form, has yet to be established. The present study investigated therapists' experiences and perceptions of the reasoning behind the team approach in neurological rehabilitation, the structure and composition of the team within which they worked and the team working process. METHOD: This article reports part of an exploratory qualitative study. Five occupational therapists and five physiotherapists from three teams: a rehabilitation centre; a community team; and a stroke unit based within the UK. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with each participant and then transcribed. Content and thematic analysis of the qualitative interview data was carried out, with respondents validating both the transcription and analysis stages. RESULTS: Perceived composition and structure of the neurological rehabilitation team was variable across teams and between individual team members. There was disparity as to whether patients were included within the neurological team; the interdisciplinary team approach had not been consistently adopted and there were sub-teams and other team memberships in existence. Reasoning behind the team approach supported the perceived benefits of teamwork from a number of perspectives, and the activities reported as part of the team process were diverse. CONCLUSIONS: Different teams may choose to use different strategies depending on the aims and context of the team effort. In some instances interdisciplinary teamwork and patient-centred approaches were not adopted consistently and the process of teamwork itself is both complex and diverse.
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