Title

Collaborative occupation of transdisciplinary process for assistive technology selection

1

Location

Pre-function area and Great Room 1B

Start Time

19-10-2017 7:00 PM

End Time

19-10-2017 9:00 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Purpose: Occupational science has emphasized its interdisciplinary origins and intentions. Today, the importance of transdisciplinary team work has been increasingly emphasized in a wide range of areas (Klein, 2004). However, the transdisciplinary process, how members collaborate, communicate, and transcend the borders of their disciplines, is still unclear. In this study, the collaborative occupation of transdisciplinary assistive technology selection is explored.

Method: The study employed qualitative descriptive study methods. The decision-making process of selecting assistive technology (AT) transdisciplinary professionals, a collaborative occupation, was studied with two purposefully selected teams belonging to public rehabilitation counseling centers. First, the two teams were observed during the selection process for optimal AT for a simulated client with spinal cord injury. Then, the team members were interviewed about how their regular practices differed from the simulation, and meanings and reasons for their performance in the transdisciplinary team. The observation data was background for and supplement to the interviews. Interview data was analyzed based on a modified grounded theory method (Kinoshita, 2003); conceptualized, defined, and categorized.

Results: The teams shared the goal of “finding a vital tool for the client”. To achieve the goal, they also shared primary questions of “Who is the client?” “What is necessary to improve the client’s quality of life and future?” and “How would AT affect the client?” The transdisciplinary decision making process comprised various sub-occupations such as intake, home visit and physical exam. No member participated in all sub-occupations, and there was no meeting in which all members participated. Each sub-occupation had a particular purpose and one to three members, whose disciplines were closely related to the purpose, participated in these sub-occupations. Transboundary knowledge was gradually widened through the process of sub-occupations. The members communicated not only verbally, but also tacitly through questions asked of the client by other discipline members. Their knowledge became transboundary, since the gained knowledge contained that of multiple members. The shared goal, basic questions and transdisciplinary interchanges contributed widened knowledge to converge into shared assumptions of optimal AT. Through the series of sub-occupations, the decision for selection of optimal AT became gradually concrete.

Implications: These findings add to our understanding of the collaborative occupations and revealed the usefulness of an occupational lens for exploring the selection of optimal assistive technology with transdisciplinary practice. The findings can also serve to facilitate structuring transdisciplinary practice and research in collaborative occupations.

Keywords: Collaborative occupation, team work, assistive devices

Questions for discussion

How are the implications of these findings important to the field of occupational science?
Is the term collaborative occupation of transdisciplinary practice appropriate in occupational science?
If so, how is collaborative occupation different from co-occupation or collective occupation?

References

Klein, J., K. (2006). Prospects for transdisciplinary. Future 36, 515-526

Kinoshita, Y (2009). Shituteki kenkyu to kijutuno atumi; M-GTA, jirei, esunogurafi [Qualtitative study and rich description; M-GTA, case, ethnography], Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Koubundou.

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Oct 19th, 7:00 PM Oct 19th, 9:00 PM

Collaborative occupation of transdisciplinary process for assistive technology selection

Pre-function area and Great Room 1B

Purpose: Occupational science has emphasized its interdisciplinary origins and intentions. Today, the importance of transdisciplinary team work has been increasingly emphasized in a wide range of areas (Klein, 2004). However, the transdisciplinary process, how members collaborate, communicate, and transcend the borders of their disciplines, is still unclear. In this study, the collaborative occupation of transdisciplinary assistive technology selection is explored.

Method: The study employed qualitative descriptive study methods. The decision-making process of selecting assistive technology (AT) transdisciplinary professionals, a collaborative occupation, was studied with two purposefully selected teams belonging to public rehabilitation counseling centers. First, the two teams were observed during the selection process for optimal AT for a simulated client with spinal cord injury. Then, the team members were interviewed about how their regular practices differed from the simulation, and meanings and reasons for their performance in the transdisciplinary team. The observation data was background for and supplement to the interviews. Interview data was analyzed based on a modified grounded theory method (Kinoshita, 2003); conceptualized, defined, and categorized.

Results: The teams shared the goal of “finding a vital tool for the client”. To achieve the goal, they also shared primary questions of “Who is the client?” “What is necessary to improve the client’s quality of life and future?” and “How would AT affect the client?” The transdisciplinary decision making process comprised various sub-occupations such as intake, home visit and physical exam. No member participated in all sub-occupations, and there was no meeting in which all members participated. Each sub-occupation had a particular purpose and one to three members, whose disciplines were closely related to the purpose, participated in these sub-occupations. Transboundary knowledge was gradually widened through the process of sub-occupations. The members communicated not only verbally, but also tacitly through questions asked of the client by other discipline members. Their knowledge became transboundary, since the gained knowledge contained that of multiple members. The shared goal, basic questions and transdisciplinary interchanges contributed widened knowledge to converge into shared assumptions of optimal AT. Through the series of sub-occupations, the decision for selection of optimal AT became gradually concrete.

Implications: These findings add to our understanding of the collaborative occupations and revealed the usefulness of an occupational lens for exploring the selection of optimal assistive technology with transdisciplinary practice. The findings can also serve to facilitate structuring transdisciplinary practice and research in collaborative occupations.

Keywords: Collaborative occupation, team work, assistive devices

Questions for discussion

How are the implications of these findings important to the field of occupational science?
Is the term collaborative occupation of transdisciplinary practice appropriate in occupational science?
If so, how is collaborative occupation different from co-occupation or collective occupation?