Student Poster

Interprofessional Collaboration with Pediatric Music Therapists: A Multiple-Case Study

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music therapy

This was the second phase of an explanatory sequential mixed methods study. The study aim was to increase understanding of how to enact and sustain interprofessional collaborative practice between pediatric music therapists and their multidisciplinary co-workers. This study is the cross-case analysis of four case studies of music therapy programs in pediatric hospital settings. The four cases will be described to provide context for the cross-case analysis. Interview participants (n = 28) included music therapists, managers of music therapists, child life specialists, rehabilitative therapists, creative arts therapists, social workers, a physician, and a major gift officer. Other sources of data included music therapy referral information, internal and external documents relevant to the music therapy program, and standardized instruments about leadership style, interpersonal team processes, thriving at work, and interprofessional collaboration. The data analysis was informed by D’Amour’s structuration model of interprofessional collaboration, which takes issues of structure into account but focuses on relationships between individuals and the interactions between the relationships and organizational dimensions of collaboration. Results suggest that major factors that contribute to interprofessional collaboration between pediatric music therapists and their multidisciplinary co-workers include clarification of the pediatric music therapist’s role, establishment of mutual personal and professional acquaintanceship and trust between pediatric music therapists and their co-workers, frequent communication of patient-related information, sharing goals between disciplines, and flexibility in scheduling. Factors that inhibit collaboration are a lack of understanding of the pediatric music therapist’s role, high caseloads, lack of co-location, scheduling difficulties, and differences in billing requirements between professionals. COVID-19 had some impact on treatment delivery and thus on interprofessional collaboration; however, there were also some benefits that resulted from needing to find new ways to work virtually during the pandemic. Implications of these findings will be discussed.