An interdisciplinary approach involves team members from different disciplines working collaboratively, with a common purpose, to set goals, make decisions and share resources and responsibilities.
A team of clinicians from different disciplines, together with the client and their family, undertakes assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and goal-setting. The best possible outcomes for children are achieved through a consultative, collaborative approach to care that actively involves the patient, their family/carers and an interdisciplinary team
Interventions are guided by the perceptions of the interdisciplinary team, for example addressing medication needs, therapy needs, environmental adjustments, as well as other interventions. Working in a multidisciplinary way therefore allows for the clients to have the best possible outcome – as both their assessment and intervention will come from a multifaceted perspective. We must work effectively with people from other disciplines if we are to effectively serve our clients. Because of differences in training and experience, each member of the team brings different strengths.
Working in this way allows for the expertise of different professions to come together in synergistic manner for both the assessment and treatment phases in a client’s care. From an Occupational Therapy perspective, where we are taught to always consider a person as a holistic being, a human being who seeks meaning and purpose through their dynamic experiences, it only makes sense to treat concerns from a holistic, multi-dimensional approach. Nothing works in isolation, and teams are often stronger than individuals. “When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we’; even ‘illness’ becomes ‘wellness.’”
Bouras, N., Cowley, A., Holt , G., Newton, J., & Sturmey, P. (2003). Referral trends of people with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disorders . Journal of Intellectual Disability Research , 47 (6), 439-446.
Law, M., Cooper, B., Strong, S., Stewart, D., Rigby, P., & Letts, L. (1996). The Person-Environment-Occupational Model: A transactive aproach to occupational performance. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy , 63 (1), 9-23.