Coaching to Support Children With Disabilities in Occupational Therapy: A Literature Review

Valerie Miller, Mara A. Sampson, Dana Howell, Patrick Kitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Importance: Coaching is an effective intervention strategy in occupational therapy but there lacks consensus in the literature about terms, definitions, and approaches used which can be barriers to the clinical use of this method. Objective: The purpose of this review is to understand how coaching adults is used as an intervention to support children with disabilities. Methods: Guidelines from foundational scoping review articles and PRISMA-ScR were followed. Studies using adult coaching as an intervention to support children with disabilities were reviewed. A total of 20 articles met inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Findings: The use of coaching terms and definitions vary. There are commonalities with coaching structures, “key ingredients,” and use of outcome measures among studies which can provide a starting framework for occupational therapists wanting to use coaching as an intervention in their practice. Conclusions and Relevance: Coaching adults to support children with disabilities is already known to be an effective occupational therapy intervention strategy. Developing structured protocols with clearer and more unified terminology may improve the fidelity of this intervention approach. What This Article Adds: This article presents current practices in adult coaching to support children with disabilities in Occupational Therapy. The authors discuss commonalities across coaching practices for therapists who wish to use coaching protocols in their clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational Therapy in Health Care
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Coaching
  • family-centered practice
  • occupational therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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