Disabilities Management

in Problem-solving

The concepts of multi, inter, and trans-disciplinary practice are very essential in any discipline and have similarities and differences. Trans-disciplinary practice involves collaboration between traditional and modern disciplines in order to come up with a refined outcome. This is very important as disciplines add value to each other. Multidisciplinary approach is the aspect of using many different disciplines in problem solving or decision making. Interdisciplinary approach involves collaborative communication and ideas rather than shared ideas. In this case, collaboratively each discipline contributes ideas and skills in order to interpret findings. Through a consensus, priorities are negotiated and an agreement made in decision making and problem solving. All these concepts are very essential in disability management practice as when used jointly, they bring about good outcomes. For instance, in the management of injury and disability at workplace; the aspect of joint labor collaboration can be of great significance. This study addresses the concepts of interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and trans-disciplinary approaches and identifies their impacts on disability management.

Trans-disciplinary practice

In general terms, trans-disciplinary practice involves strategies that cross many disciplines in the attempt of creating a holistic approach.  This concept is mostly used in researches that cross many disciplines and can be used in referring to the concepts that were primarily used or developed by one discipline but are currently used by several other disciplines (Hoeman, 2007). Trans-disciplinary approach is mostly used in the evolving world where the approaches that were traditionally used by a certain discipline get to be used by several others in solving the same or different problems. Transversely, the concept of trans-disciplinary is used in signifying a unity of skills and knowledge as well as experiences that go beyond disciplines. In this case, ideas or information are shared between disciplines, across different disciplines, and beyond disciplines and hence the resultant action is very significant. Reynolds (2008) indicates that, trans-disciplinary approach requires that information and knowledge are shared systematically across disciplinary boundaries. Purposely, trans-disciplinary approach involves pooling and integrating the experiences of team members in order to provide more effective and comprehensive evaluation and intervention.  Experts and professionals from different disciplines usually, learn, teach, and work together in the pursuit of accomplishing a common set of intervention objectives and goals for a disability. The information provided goes beyond the boundaries of disciplines used.

Interdisciplinary practice

According to Harder and Scott (2005), interdisciplinary practice involves the process of sharing communication and ideas from one discipline to the other. In this case, a different discipline is used in solving problems that relate to another discipline. For instance, human resource management may make use of psychological experts or professionals in solving employees' problems in an industry. In disability management, a number of disciplines should be used in order to pool all knowledge together. In this respect, interdisciplinary practice is very essential as it ensures that two or more disciplines exchange ideas and communication and as a result, a problem is solved (Shrey and Lacerte, 1995). The knowledge that is used in solving disability problem usually emerges from a number of disciplines. Ideas are collaboratively communicated and a single course of action is determined Shrey & Breslin, 1992). This concept states that ideas are borrowed from different fields, bits by bits and conclusion is made according to the ideas borrowed collaboratively. Out of interdisciplinary terms like biophysics and biomedical emerge meaning that two or more disciplines have been merged together in order to solve a complex problem.

Multidisciplinary approach

Dyck and Borner (2000) detail that; multidisciplinary approach is the aspect of using different disciplines in problem solving. In this case, a problem is solved by each discipline handling it from its own perspective. For instance, a problem arising from disability management is solved by different disciplines approaching the problem from different angles. On this basis, each team member from each discipline conducts an assessment, provision, and planning with different degrees of coordination. The whole team, after individual assessments, shares information and ideas either directly or indirectly (Shrey & Breslin, 1992). What is of great importance in this approach is good and timely communication in order to make sure that the different members or experts used in problem solving make a conclusion at the end. For example in case of a patient, different disciplines approach the problem differently and as a result it will be widely identified what the problem is. This is because a doctor can be treating a disease from a physical outlook but which should be treated psychologically. Here, multidisciplinary approach as indicated by Hoeman (2007) ensures that an expert approaching the problem from a psychological point of view will be in a position to get the solution.

Differences between multidisciplinary, trans-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches

Reynolds (2008) details that multidisciplinary approach involves approaching a problem from different disciplines each one using its own perspective. In this respect, a patient is approached from different perspectives where consultations occur between separate individuals. Professionals consult each other as part of single appointment on a single day. On the other hand, interdisciplinary approach as indicated by Harder and Scott (2005) involves integration of separate discipline approaches into a single consultation. In this case, different ideas and information are pooled together in order to approach a patient from one perspective.  For instance, the team conducts assessments, diagnosis, patient history taking and intervention at the same time. In this approach each team member contributes to the whole team what should be done to solve the problem. When different suggestions are raised, a conclusion is made according to the ideas and information gathered from a number of disciplines. Trans-disciplinary on the other hand involves borrowing information and ideas across disciplines with an aim of coming up with a precise course of action. On this basis, as put forward by Shrey and Lacerte (1995) the focus of a problem is within and beyond discipline boundaries with probability of new perspectives. This indicates that team members think beyond the boundaries of their different disciplines.

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This article was published on 2011/05/16