A qualitative study of occupational therapy's role in adolescent transition in a midwestern coalition of many school districts

Candice Gangl, Peggy Strecker Neufeld, Christine Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two years after high school, adolescents with disabilities struggle with employment, independent living, and continuing education. These struggles call for school-based occupational therapists to take a role to impact outcomes. The perceptions of occupational therapists within transition services in a large Midwestern coalition were examined. Through semistructured interviews with 4 nonoccupational therapy transition professionals and a focus group with occupational therapists, 3 themes emerged: (a) "I couldn't even begin to describe the essential functions of an occupational therapist"; (b) "Unless the kids get direct services, which a lot of these kids aren't, I don't have any part in their transition services"; and (c) "I don't feel that [OT] is looked at as a priority in transition." Occupational therapy continues to be underutilized in school-based transition services. Suggestions are provided to enhance the role within system-wide delivery changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-167
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Occupational therapy
  • School-based
  • Transition

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