Team collaboration in Dutch paediatric rehabilitation: cooperation between parents, rehabilitation professionals and special education professionals in the care for children with cerebral palsy

Bianca Gertruda Johanna Nijhuis


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    This thesis describes the collaborative processes in Dutch paediatric teams engaged in the care for children with cerebral palsy (CP). The three main stakeholder groups in these teams are the parents and the professionals in child rehabilitation and special education. Although the need for close collaboration in these specialised teams has been described extensively in the literature and is advocated in the clinical practice, it has proven difficult to define team collaboration adequately and provide a complete overview of related factors and variables. Moreover, despite the commitment of parents, professionals and organisations to a collaborative approach, adoption of prescribed models and their implementation in daily practice proved to be complex. These observations were the rationale for our study. The aim of the studies reported in this thesis was threefold: 1. To define the concept of team collaboration in paediatric rehabilitation; 2. To describe the organisational characteristics of collaborative efforts in five Dutch paediatric settings and 3. To describe current collaborative practices in the care for children with cerebral palsy (CP). In Chapter 1 a short description of paediatric rehabilitation in the Netherlands is provided with specific focus on the organisational structures and recent developments regarding teamwork in paediatric rehabilitation. Chapter 2 comprises a systematic search of the literature to define key features of team collaboration and to identify salient elements of team collaboration. Chapter 3 discusses the organisational characteristics of team collaboration in Dutch paediatric rehabilitation. Chapters 4, 6 and 7 describe the results fulfilling the third aim of this thesis, i.e. the description of current collaborative practices in the care for children with CP in five Dutch paediatric rehabilitation settings. The validity and utility of the family-specific use of the Dutch MPOC-SP was examined in Chapter 5. In Chapter 8 the main findings of this thesis are summarised and discussed and placed into perspective. The results of the various studies have contributed threefold to the charting and hence hopefully to the enhancement of the collaboration among parents, rehabilitation professionals and special education professionals in paediatric rehabilitation venues in the Netherlands. First, the present analysis of the operant team collaboration procedures has made the process quantifiable, allowing a transparent representation of current practices. Furthermore, the data collection methods and analytic strategies used in this thesis have provided the field of child rehabilitation with new tools to assess (parts of ) team collaboration practices, allowing targeted fine-tuning of the process. And finally, the new insights into the current collaboration practices has helped identify areas for improvement. To conclude the thesis, various methodological reflections are offered and three main targets for improvements in the clinical practice and recommendations on how to achieve these targets are provided.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Postema, Klaas, Supervisor
    • Nakken, Han, Supervisor
    • Groothoff, Johan, Supervisor
    Datum van toekenning28-nov-2007
    Plaats van publicatie[S.l.]
    Gedrukte ISBN's9789077113622
    StatusPublished - 2007

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