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Aust J Prim Health. 2015;21(1):74-8. doi: 10.1071/PY13035.

Collaboration across the health care and education interface: what is it like for teachers of children with traumatic brain injury?

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  • 1Department of Rural Health, University of Newcastle, Locked Bag 9783, Tamworth NEMSC, NSW 2348, Australia.


For those involved in supporting and educating children with traumatic brain injury, the interface between health care and education is complex. This paper reports the findings of a study exploring how teachers of children with traumatic brain injury experience collaboration with health-care professionals. A phenomenological approach was used to understand teachers' experience of collaboration. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with five teachers who taught children with traumatic brain injury in a regional area of Australia. The findings revealed that the experience of collaboration for teachers is characterised by moving through three national spaces (starting out in the interactive space, moving into a collaborative space and embracing the collaborative space). As they move through these spaces, teachers widen their self-sufficient practice horizon to develop reciprocity with health-care professionals. The findings from this study highlight a need for health-care professionals to be sensitive to, and aware of, teachers' familiarity with interdisciplinary collaboration, issues related to knowledge differentials and time constraints.

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