Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Literature review coupled with needs assessment data indicated that collaborative practices between teachers and occupational therapists might not be happening consistently and may be in need of improvement. Further research is needed to determine elementary teachers’ perceptions of the value of collaboration with occupational therapists in order to ensure maximum benefit for the students.

Purpose: This Capstone Project focused on identifying elementary teachers’ perceptions of the value of collaboration with occupational therapists and validating the need for improved occupational therapy supports in the school environment.

Theoretical Framework: This Capstone Project was guided by the National Interprofessional Competency Framework (NICF), which is composed of six domains: role clarification, patient/client/family/community-centeredness, team functioning, collaborative leadership, interprofessional communication, and interprofessional conflict resolution.

Methods: An anonymous electronic survey approach was used as the data collection method. The invitation to participate and the survey link were distributed to five school administrators, within the chosen geographic area, whom forwarded the invitation and survey link to their site’s teaching staff. The survey included nineteen close-ended questions and one open-ended item for additional comments.

Results: While the majority of the participants indicated having had students receive occupational therapy services (96.05%), only 36.84% (N=28) of the participants reported collaborating often with the occupational therapist to address the needs of the students. 73.68% (N=56) of the participants perceived collaboration with the occupational therapist as valuable for providing effective classroom strategies and having a positive impact on student success. 82.89% of participants reported that more education about school-based occupational therapy would be beneficial.

Conclusions: School-based occupational therapists need to explore ways to improve their collaborative practices with teachers in order to enhance practice outcomes. Occupational therapists should provide educational opportunities for school staff to learn more about their scope of practice and to provide additional classroom strategies.

Faculty Mentor

Shirley O'Brien, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Leslie Hardman, OTD, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)