Comité Permanent de Liaison des Orthophonistes-Logopèdes de l’UE

Standing Liaison Committee of E.U. Speech and Language Therapists and Logopedists

Collaborative Practice

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Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) frequently work collaboratively with a number of different healthcare and education professionals. The following section provides information on definitions and descriptions of types of collaborative working, and includes examples of collaborative practice in various clinical contexts across countries. A number of resources relevant to this topic are included below.


These descriptions are suggested as a helpful introduction to be supplemented by published sources in the following sections. 

Collaboration in healthcare and education involves professionals adopting complementary roles and working cooperatively, sharing responsibility for problem-solving and making decisions to devise and implement plans for client care. Collaboration between professionals increases team members’ insight and awareness of each others’ type of knowledge and skills, which supports ongoing improvement in decision making 
(Hughes, 2008).

Multidisciplinary working

• Uses the skills and expertise of individuals from a number of different disciplines.
• Each discipline approaches the patient/client from their own perspective.
• Each discipline formulates separate goals for the client/patient.
• Each discipline manages and is responsible for different aspects of a patient/client’s care.
• There will be varying levels of coordination, disciplines may work independently and interact formally.
• The team shares information to discuss findings and future directions about the patient/client and family.
• Multidisciplinary teams provide more knowledge and experience than disciplines operating in isolation.
(Jessup 2007; Mauk, 2010) 

Intradisciplinary working

• Composed of professionals from one discipline but include team members from different levels of training and skill within the discipline.
For example, an SLT team which comprises Community clinic SLTs, Early Years team SLTs, SLTs with post-graduate dysphagia training, SLT Assistants
(Mauk, 2010) 

Interdisciplinary working

• Different professionals work together to share expertise, knowledge, and skills to impact on client management.
• Members of the team contribute their own individual expertise but collaborate to interpret results and develop common goals and care plans.
• Team members have common and collective goals, they negotiate priorities and agree by consensus.
• The pooling of specialised interventions leads to integrated interventions.
• Collaborative communication (rather than shared communication)
(Hughes, 2008; Jessup, 2007; Nancarrow et al, 2013) 

Transdisciplinary working

• Members share knowledge, skills and professional responsibilities across traditional disciplinary boundaries.
• Members have accepted that decisions and roles will be shared.
• Cross-discipline working and flexibility in accomplishing tasks.
• Some blurring of professional boundaries.
(Mauk, 2010)  



The Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, in collaboration with the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (2007), have established universal principles of good practice in collaborative working. These principles form the basis for the clinical examples of collaborative working outlined in Table 1 below. 

These clinical examples do not represent recommended or best practice. They are examples of various aspects and manners of collaborative working in specific contexts, and were provided by CPLOL members. As such, the examples may not be representative of the collaborative working process which occurs in similar circumstances in the same country. The examples are from a range of healthcare and educational settings and involve a variety of healthcare and education professionals. 

Please click on the s in the table below to access the examples. 

Table 1:  Examples of Collaborative Working

  SLI   BILING Stroke
  Czech Republic
  Northern Ireland                 

MSD: Motor speech disorders 

APH: Aphasia

DYSFL: Dysfluency

HI: Hearing Impairment

CI: Cochlear Implant

DYG: Dysphagia

EDS Disorders: Eating, drinking, swallowing disorders

SLI: Specific Language Impairment

BILING: Bilingualism 



A CPLOL working group of the Professional Practice commission carried out a survey to determine if and how SLTs in Europe work 
collaboratively with other professions as well as to explore SLT perspectives on benefits and challenges associated with collaborative working.
Click for detail on the findings in English and in French.  


See below for a selection of useful websites from organisations and journals which contain information related to collaborative working.

1. Australasian Interprofessional Practice and Education Network

2. Centre For The Advancement Of Interprofessional Education

3. Journal of Interprofessional Care

4. Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative

5. The International Association for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice

6. Nordic Interprofessional Network 



*Summary of resource available, click on link 

1. Bainbridge, L., Nasmith, L., Orchard, C., Wood, V. (2010). Competencies for Interprofessional Collaboration. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 24 (1), 6–11.

2. Barker, R. (2009). Making Sense of Every Child Matters: Multiprofessional Practice Quidance. The Policy Press.

3. Barr, H., Koppel, I., Reeves, S., Hammick, M., Freeth, D. (2005). Effective Interprofessional Education: Assumption, Argument and Evidence. London: Blackwell.

4. Barrett, G., Keeping, C. (2005). The Processes Required for Effective Interprofessional Working. In Barret, G., Sellman, D., Thomas, I. (Eds.) Interprofessional Working in Health and Social Care: Professional Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan. 19–31.

5. Carnwell, R., Carson, A. (2008). The Concepts of Partnership and Collaboration. In Carnwell, R., Buchanan, J. (Eds.) Effective Practice in Health, Social Care and Criminal Justice. Open University Press.

6. Cramm, J. M., Nieboer, A. P. (2011). Professionals’ Views on Interprofessional Stroke Team Functioning. International Journal of Integrated Care, 11 (25), 1–8.

7. D’Amour, D., Ferrada-Videla, M., San Martin Rodriguez, L., Beaulie, M. D. (2005). The Conceptual Basis for Interprofessional Collaboration: Core Concepts and Theoretical Frameworks. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 1, 116–131.

8. Dainton, M., Zelley, E. D. (2005). Applying Communication Theory for Professional Live: A Practical Introduction. Sage Publications.

9. Day, J. (2006). Interprofessional Working: Expanding Nursing and Health Care Practice. Nelson Thornes.

10. Dunaway, C., Kenney, E. (2006). Forming Transdisciplinary Teams: Performance-Based Assessment. California: San Diego Unified School District.

11. Engel, Ch., Gursky, E. (2003). Management and Interprofessional Collaboration. In Leathard, A. (Ed.). Interprofessional Collaboration: from Policy to Practice in Health and Social Care. London and New York: Routledge. 44–55.

12. Franz, N. K. (2005). Transformative Learning in Intraorganisation Partnership: Facilitating Personal, Joint and Organizational Change. Journal of Transformative Education, 254 (3), 254–270.

13. Frost N, Robinson M. (2007). Joining Up Children’s Services: Safeguarding Children in Multi-disciplinary Teams. Child Abuse Review, 16, 184–199.

14. Getha-Taylor, H. (2008). Identifying Collaborative Competencies. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 28, 103–119.

15. Hall, P. (2005). Interprofessional Teamwork: Professional Cultures as Barriers. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 1, 188–196.

16. Hall, P., Weaver, L. (2001). Interdisciplinary Education and Teamwork: A Long and Winding Road. Medical Education, 35, 867–875.

17. *Hammick, M., Freeth, D., Copperman, J., Goodsman, D. (2009). Being Interprofessional. Cambridge: Polity Press.

18. *Hatcher, C. (2011). Making Collaborative Practice Work: A Model for Teachers and SLTs. Guildford: J &R Press Ltd.

19. Hughes, R. G. (2008). Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

20. Hunt, P, Soto, G., Maier, J., Liboiron, N., Bae, S. (2004). Collaborative Teaming to Support Preschoolers With Severe Disabilities Who Are Placed in General Education Early Childhood Programs, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 24 (3), 123–142.

21. Jefries, L. M. (2003). The Culture of a Transdisciplinary Early Intervention Team. Doctor Degree Thesis. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Graduate College.

22. Jessup R.L. (2007). Interdisciplinary Versus Multidisciplinary Care Teams: Do We Understand the Difference? Australian Health Review August, 31 (3), 330-331.

23. Jones, A., Jones, D. (2011). Improving Teamwork, Trust and Safety: An Ethnographic Study of an Interprofessional Initiative. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 25, 175–181.

24. Kozuch, B. (2009). The Culture of Collaboration. Theoretical Aspects. Journal of Intercultural Management, 1 (2), 17–29.

25. Lavie, J. (2006). Academic Discourses on School–Based Teacher Collaboration: Revisiting the Arguments. Educational Administration Quarterly, 42, 773–805.

26. Leathard, A. (2003a). Introduction. In Leathard, A. (Ed.) Interprofessional Collaboration: from Policy to Practice in Health and Social Care. London and New York: Routledge. 3–11.

27. Leathard, A. (2003b). Models of Interprofessional Collaboration. In Leathard, A. (Ed.). Interprofessional Collaboration: from Policy to Practice in Health and Social Care. London and New York: Routledge. 93–117.

28. Mauk, K.L. (2010). Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care. 2nd edition. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett.

29. Middleton, J. (March 2nd 2004). Understanding the Barriers to Multiprofessional Collaboration. Retrieved 7th May 2015 from zones/management/understanding-the-barriers-to-multiprofessional-collaboration/204513.article

30. Miller, C., Freeman, M. (2003). Clinical Teamwork. The Impact of Policy on Collaborative Practice. In Leathard, A. (Ed.) Interprofessional Collaboration: from Policy to Practice in Health and Social Care. London and New York: Routledge. 121–132.

31. Nancarrow, S.A., Booth, A., Ariss, S. Smith, T., Enderby, P., Roots, A. (2013) Ten Principles of Good Interdisciplinary Team Work. Hum Resour Health, 11: 19.

32. Nolte, J. (2005). Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care. Primary Health Care: A Framework That Fits. EICP.

33. O’Daniel, M., Rosenstein, A. H. (2008). Professional Communication and Team Collaboration. In Hughes, R. G. (Ed.) Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 271–284.

34. Odegard, A. (2006). Exploring Perceptions of Interprofessional Collaboration in Child Mental Health Care. Shared learning in primary care: Participants’ Views of the Benefits of this Approach. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 20 (1), 302–313.

35. Odegard, A. (2007). Time Used on Interprofessional Collaboration in Child Mental Health. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 21 (1), 45–54.

36. Ovretveit, J. (1997). How to Describe Interprofessional Working? In Ovretveit, J. Mathias P., Thompson, T. (Eds.) Interprofessional Working for Health and Social Care. London: Macmillan. 9–33.

37. Reeves, S., Freeth, D. (2003). New Forms of Technology, New Forms of Collaboration? In Leathard, A. (Ed.). Interprofessional Collaboration: from Policy to Practice in Health and Social Care. London and New York: Routledge. 79–92.

38. Reeves, S., Lewin, S., Espin, S., Zwarensten, M., Barr, H. (2010). Interprofessional Teamwork for Health and Social Care: Promoting Partnership for Health. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

39. Rose, J. (2011). Dilemmas of Interprofessional Collaboration: Can They be Resolved? Children et Society, 25, 151–163.

40. Rosen, E. (2008). The Culture of Collaboration. Red Ape Publishing.

41. Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (2007). Collaborative working between Speech and Language Therapists and Teachers of the Deaf.

42. Sargeant, J., Loney, E., Murphy, G. (2008). Effective Interprofessional Teams: “Contact Is Not Enough” to Build a Team. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 28(4), 228–234.

43. Vanclay, L. (2003). Supporting Families an Interprofessional Approach? In Leathard, A. (Ed.). Interprofessional Collaboration: from Policy to Practice in Health and Social Care. London and New York: Routledge. 158–171.

44. Vyt, A. (2009). Exploring Quality Assurance for Interprofessional Education in Health and Social Care. Antwerpen-Apeldoom: Garant. 

45. Yang, C. H., Yu, Ch. (2006). Exploring Inter-professional Collaboration within Action Research Group in Health Care Sectors. Asian Journal of Health and Information Sciences, 1(2), 152–162.