Service delivery in school based occupational therapy: Perceived effectiveness of the inclusion (push-in) model vs. the pull-out model
The purpose of this study was to investigate if: (1) the inclusion (push-in) model is perceived to be more effective than the pull-out model in school-based occupational therapy service delivery on three dimensions (academic abilities, social/emotional skills, and societal benefits), (2) OTs' and teachers' perceptions regarding these models were different, and (3) communication between professionals was positively correlated with perceived effectiveness of the inclusion model. A survey questionnaire was administered to all subjects participating in the study (22 occupational therapists and 43 teachers).
Major findings indicated that the first hypothesis was partially supported. The "societal benefits" dimension was perceived to be more effective in the inclusion model, yet the pull-out model was perceived to be more effective in terms of the "academic abilities" dimension. The second hypothesis was rejected since both groups had similar perceptions regarding each model on all three dimensions. The third hypothesis was partially supported. The subjective measures of communication showed a significant positive correlation with all the three dimensions. The objective measure of communication was significantly positively correlated with the "academic abilities" and the "societal benefits" dimensions. Results from the three hypotheses suggest that further research is needed with a larger sample population.
Two additional research questions were postulated: (1) younger students receive more services than older students do, and (2) the inclusion model was utilized more often than the pull-out model in school-based occupational therapy. It was found that younger students receive more services than older students do and that the pull-out model was utilized more often than the inclusion model in school-based OT.