Collaborative transdisciplinary intervention in early years - putting theory into practice

Child Care Health Dev. 2010 Jan;36(1):142-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2009.01027.x. Epub 2009 Nov 30.


Background: Recent government initiatives in the UK encourage collaborative working among professionals and highlight the importance of a co-ordinated and collaborative approach in early years for families and children. There are many models of collaborative working but the evidence base for its effectiveness in early years (0-2.5 years) in a community setting in the UK is patchy. The aim of this study is to objectively evaluate the transdisciplinary model of collaborative working in this setting.

Methods: This paper describes the development of a transdisciplinary early intervention team providing services to a 0- to 2.5-year-old age group in a community setting in the UK, between 2004 and 2007. The effects on waiting times, therapy session attendance and caseload were evaluated.

Results: Statistically significant reduction in waiting times from an average 114-35.6 days for the highest priority children was demonstrated. Attendance at therapy sessions increased significantly from 49% in 2005 to 56% in 2006 and 75% 2007, despite an increasing case load from 29 in 2004 to 64 in 2008 through more efficient utilization of time and resources.

Conclusion: It is felt that this paper demonstrates, for the first time, the objective benefits to clients and fundholders/Primary Care Trust (PCT) of practical application of the theory of transdisciplinary working in a community paediatric service setting in the UK.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Child Health Services / standards
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Services / standards
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Developmental Disabilities / therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Patient Compliance
  • United Kingdom
  • Waiting Lists