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Multi-professional prereferral and school-based health-care teams: A research review
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Teaching and Learning in School, Teacher Education and other Educational Settings. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9233-3862
2008 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this report is to review research on multi-professional prereferral intervention teams (PITs) as well as multi-professional school-based health care teams. In some instances, teams similar to these two types of teams are also included. A multi-professional or multidisciplinary team is an organized group of personnel, each trained in different professional disciplines and possessing unique skills and perspectives, who share a common purpose of cooperative problem solving. PITs include many professions such as counsellor, social worker, special education teacher, school principal, psychologist, and general education teacher. PITs employ multidisciplinary problem solving and collaborative consultation with teachers, to develop interventions that address the needs of pupils in regular education through remedial and preventive strategies, and are thus an alternative to referral to special education as a means for teachers to get assistance with “difficult to teach” pupils. Research indicates that implementation of multi-professional teams in schools in order to cope with at risk pupils or pupils with academic or behavioural difficulties and assist teachers in these matters has positive effects by decreasing this kind of pupil difficulties and reducing pupil exclusions from general education (i.e., referrals to special education). However, there is only a relative small body of research on team effectiveness and some inconsistencies among findings. Nevertheless, some studies indicate that the quality of team process is related to team effectiveness. University-based, trained and implemented team processes have significantly better outcomes than field-based team processes, i.e., existing team processes not influenced by researchers. According to observations and field studies, PITs typically spend little time on defining the problem. Systematic classroom observation and diagnostic testing is rarely used to help define the problem. There is also a focus on within-child explanations. Moreover, many teams tend to jump prematurely to a discussion of interventions without first gathering and discussing classroom observation and diagnostic data. There is also a tendency for recommendations to focus too much on factors outside of the classroom. According to research findings, there exists inequality of influence in relation to decisionmakings. There is a major variation between the contributions of the other professionals present in which a few have a major role whereas others almost say nothing during the meetings. The suggested strength of “multiple perspective” of multi-professional teams is not always obtained, but often undermined by the social processes and forces. Lack of treatment or intervention integrity is another problem detected in research. Team effectiveness is counteracted if teachers cope with team-recommended interventions insufficiently.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Institutinen för beteendevetenskap och lärande , 2008. , 28 p.
, FOG rapport, ISSN 1401-0283 ; 62
Keyword [en]
elevhälsoteam, prereferral team
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-42758ISRN: LIU-IPP-FOG-R--62--SELocal ID: 68586OAI: diva2:263615
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved

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Thornberg, Robert
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