Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
How Occupational Therapists Develop, Maintain, and Sustain Global Partnerships: A Qualitative Study
Author Affiliations
  • Duquesne University
  • Duquesne University
  • Duquesne University
  • Duquesne University
Article Information
Centennial Vision / Ethics / Health and Wellness / Education of OTs and OTAs / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
How Occupational Therapists Develop, Maintain, and Sustain Global Partnerships: A Qualitative Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510042.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911510042.

Date Presented 4/16/2015

Future commitment to international occupational therapy for a global profession requires more understanding of the successful ways in which a global partnership is developed. This study provides strategies for how occupational therapists can be of best service to the global community they are working in.

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) are committed to a globally connected profession that responds to the needs of our diverse societies (AOTA, 2007; WFOT, 2011). International experiences for college students both in and outside of the health professions lead to increased cultural competency that helps increase the quality of care in a multicultural society and working across disciplines (Bentley & Ellison, 2007; Pallangyo et al., 2012). There is little research that addresses cross-cultural partnership planning or that defines the characteristics of an effective global partnership (Lattanzi & Pechak, 2011). Few studies explore how occupational therapy professionals worldwide develop global partnerships.
In this study, we seek to understand how occupational therapists develop, maintain, and sustain global partnerships. Further, in this research, we identify how occupational therapists (1) initiate global partnerships; (2) describe primary strategies for developing global partnerships; (3) describe processes and strategies for sustaining global partnerships; (4) describe challenges they face in establishing effective partnerships; and (5) describe outcomes, benefits, and lessons learned. Many institutions of higher education are encouraging faculty to engage in global partnerships for research, teaching, and service. Faculty members are crafting international service learning experiences for students in an effort to cultivate global citizens (Lattanzi & Pechak, 2011).
We used qualitative research methods. The participants were occupational therapists who had experience establishing global partnerships. In addition, the participants identified other potential participants using the inclusion criteria defined earlier. Data for this study were collected through an online survey and a follow-up telephone interview. Using a maximum variation sampling process, we selected a diverse and purposive sample from the initial sample pool that completed the online survey. A semistructured interview guide was used to guide the questioning in a phone interview. Constant comparative analysis within and across survey data allowed us to reduce categories and to create organizing themes.
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Bentley, R., & Ellison, K. J. (2007). Increasing cultural competence in nursing through international service learning experiences. Nurse Educator, 32, 207–211.
Lattanzi, J. B., & Pechak, C. (2011). A conceptual framework for international service-learning course planning: Promoting a foundation for ethical practice in the physical therapy and occupational therapy professions. Journal of Allied Health, 40, 103–109.
Pallangyo, K., Debas, H. T., Lyamuya, E., Loeser, H., Mkony, C. A., O’Sullivan, P. S., . . . Macfarlane, S. B. (2012). Partnering on education for health: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences and the University of California San Francisco. Journal of Public Health Policy, 33(Suppl. 1), S13–S22.
World Federation of Occupational Therapists. (2011). Fundamental beliefs. Retrieved from