Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Bradley Hospital, Mental health personnel-Training of, Child mental health services, Child psychopathology-Treatment, Interagency coordination, Interdisciplinary collaboration, Child psychiatric care, Family centered approach, Theoretical perspectives, Treatment teams, Group support


This purpose of this exploratory, qualitative study was to explore interdisciplinary collaboration as experienced by clinicians in a psychiatric hospital setting, where collaboration is a routine part of mental health treatment. This study examined how individual practitioners brought their unique theoretical and personal perspectives to their work, and how interdisciplinary collaboration shaped their own clinical thinking and actions. The subjects in this research were social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists, working in clinical roles at Bradley Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Adolescents in Riverside, RI.; they were divided into two focus groups, each meeting for one and a half hours. Questions were raised about conflicts arising in group discussions, such as differences regarding theoretical orientations and treatment recommendations, and about collaboration leading to successful and/or unique clinical outcomes. Participants were asked whether training in collaboration was included in their professional education, and what recommendations they had for enhancing the utilization of collaboration in the future. The key findings of this study were related to the positive contributions interdisciplinary collaboration in clinical treatment provided to these clinicians. The support the subjects received from team members across disciplines, in working with difficult clinical issues, was perceived as an important benefit of collaboration. In all cases where participants described conflict, or treatment complications, they also felt collaboration aided in addressing these issues. Another benefit was the opportunity for learning new theoretical perspectives, and treatment approaches.




iii, 62 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 47-50)