#OTalk Research 6th December 2016 – In-depth Interviews

The chat will be hosted by OTalk research team member Lynne Goodacre  (@lynnegoodacre) supported by OTalk research team member Emma Hooper (@hooper_ek).


Conducting in-depth interviews is one of the most common approaches to data collection utilised by qualitative researchers. The underlying rationale for using this method is to explore in detail the experiences and perspectives of others, the meaning people attribute to their experiences and how people make sense of the world. This weeks OTalk will provide an opportunity to explore this method of data collection and share experiences and expertise.


Some points we will be exploring during the chat will be:

To get us started – what research context are you using or planning to use interviews in?

How do you decide what questions to ask to inform your interview schedule?

How do you decide who to include in your sample?

What practical factors need to be considered when planning to conduct interviews?

What ethical issues need to considered when undertaking interviews?


Whether you are in the process of planning your research, in the midst of collecting data or interested in understanding more about this method we have a lot to learn from each other. So I hope you will join in.


#Otalk 29th November 2016 -Role emerging Occupational Therapy.

This weeks #Otalk topic is ‘Role emerging OT, friend or foe?’.

Over recent years there has been an increase in Occupational Therapists working in broader roles such as team managers, honorary consultants, prescribers, discharge facilitators, case managers, care coordinators and within charities.

With OT having such a wide span of knowledge, training and experience it is a profession for the lifespan. This combined with it’s holistic approach means OT has plenty to offer so it is no surprise that OTs are now branching out from the traditional confines of acute and community care.

While these roles are a prime opportunity to show the world what we are capable of, are we doing our protected titles and the profession a disservice by taking on these generic roles?

Some points to consider:

What are the opportunities within these types of roles? Is this our chance to shine and show the true value of what we do and what OT has to offer?

What are the potential difficulties for OTs working in these settings? Lack of OT specific supervision? Could this lead to a loss of professional identity? Could there be a role conflict?

How can OT and occupation still be at the heart of our practice in role emerging and generic settings? Should we even be thinking and working occupationally if were not actually employed under the title of Occupational Therapist?

This chat will be hosted by #Otalk Team member Kirstie (@KLO2_KAY) and we hope to see lots of of you there!



The Numbers

1,837,404 Impressions
685 Tweets
67 Participants
548 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants




#OTalk 22nd November 2016 – Annual Conference, a time for change!

This weeks chat will be hosted by members of the COT conference programme committee, Ken Levins @LevinsKen, Alicia Ridout @AliciaRidout and Clare Taylor @ClareTaylorBUon the topic of “Annual Conference…time for a change”.

Here is their introductory blog post….

If you are familiar with the conference timetable, you will have noticed that the schedule for the COT 2017 conference call for papers has changed. In the past the deadline for the call for papers was September, however this has been pushed back to 20 January 2017.

There are two main reasons for doing this:

  1. There were a number of different deadlines for the call for papers, there was the main conference programme deadline, and then the emerging research and the student abstracts were manged differently. So we have decided to consolidate the dates and just have one call for papers deadline.
  2. The call for papers process has been streamlined; we have been able to tighten the process, and this means we will create a more up- to- date scientific programme for conference delegates to attend.

Submitting an abstract for Annual Conference is an excellent way to share your occupational therapy successes. It’s a great development opportunity as you can learn so much from the discussion that your abstract generates. Past presenters have found it an incredibly empowering process that builds their professional and personal confidence. They also enjoy the recognition and the kudos of making a valuable contribution to the development of the occupational therapy profession.

Abstracts are welcome from all areas of practice, and all types of work from authors at all stages of their careers. To make conference even more inclusive, five new submission categories have been introduced. This widens the scope for abstracts and will give potential authors a framework that will fit within their areas of work. The submission categories recognise the diverse approaches within the occupational therapy profession. They are:

Interactive journal club is focused on sharing a critical appraisal of published work

Occupation station is based upon practical demonstration of an occupation and reflection on its use as a therapeutic tool

Practice development focuses on clinical and management practice that has had a measurable impact

Critical discourse is opinion and discussion around theory aiming to challenge current thinking and introduce new perspective

Research is completed or ongoing research with data findings and analysis

Abstracts delivered by service users or written jointly with a service user will be particularly welcome. The service user’s perspective gives a 360° view of occupational therapy and this provides a far more enrichening insight for delegates. Service user presenters will be offered free one day registration to attend conference.

The hosts will be available to answer any questions on the call for papers process and the new submission categories. They will be able to demonstrate how the new conference call for papers will impact on the development of the conference programme and create a high quality CPD experience that celebrates the diversity of our wonderful profession.


Post Chat


The Numbers

1,436,747 Impressions
580 Tweets
49 Participants
464 Avg Tweets/Hour
12 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk 15th November 2016 – NHS Self Care Week

November 14-20 2016 is Self Care Week.


Further information from the NHS can be found here: Self Care Week 2016

This year’s theme is health literacy and the strapline is

Understanding Self Care for Life.

The campaign is designed to assist people in understanding what self-care for life means and the campaign provides information about knowing how to keep fit and healthy, how to deal with medicines appropriately, manage self-treatable conditions and when to seek appropriate clinical help. The campaign is also designed to raise awareness for those living with a long-term condition, explaining that self care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.

However, as an occupational therapists we often work with people to whom self care is something altogether different. With this in mind we would like take this weeks #OTalk as an opportunity not only to support the official campaign, so please do share what is happening in local area.

This year the Self Care project have launched an app to help students.



We will also be exploring the wider theme of self care and how we as occupational therapists and those that we work with define self care and how this translates to the everyday services that we provide.

We look forward to chatting further between 8-9pm Tuesday 15th November 2016.

Post Chat


The Numbers

1,517,583 Impressions
605 Tweets
97 Participants
484 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

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Tuesday 8th Nov 2016 – Politics and Health Care

As the US election is happening today, I thought we could explore if and how politics impacts on our practise as occupational therapist.


Questions to think about?

Q1 During an election period, what impacts on your decision to vote?

Q2 How do you keep up to date with politics and is it really that important?

Q3 Should occupational therapist engage in politics or remain neutral? And way?

Q4 In your career to date, has a political decision, affect you or your work?

Q5 How if at all do you think leaving the European Union, will affect the NHS?

Q6 How and if at all do you think today’s US election result will affect the U.K. and health care general?

Rachel Booth



The Numbers
1,241,080 Impressions
454 Tweets
39 Participants
363 Avg Tweets/Hour
12 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk Research 1st November 2016

Research Training Opportunities for Occupational Therapists with NIHR and HEE

Research is essential to the NHS and is even recognised as part of the NHS constitution. There’s increasing evidence that NHS trusts which are really engaged in research actually deliver better outcomes for patients. For the NHS staff directly involved in research; the option of pursuing a clinical academic career is seen as both really rewarding and highly stimulating.

If you are an Occupational Therapist interested in getting into research or you think that a clinical academic career might be for you; the NIHR and HEE have several opportunities to get you started or build on your existing research career. The HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic programme allows healthcare professionals to develop their research career alongside their clinical career. Options range from internships for those brand new to research to senior clinical lectureships for established clinical academics looking to become leaders in their field. The NIHR Fellowship Programme provides similar options ranging from PhD-level fellowships for people looking to start a research career, to Senior Research Fellowships for researchers who are already independent.

Whichever level or programme you are interested in applying for, NIHR and HEE are looking to fund the brightest and best individuals interested in pursuing a career in applied health. Starting out on a clinical academic career can seem a daunting prospect at first but one which can be really rewarding. As a clinician you have the opportunity to help hundreds of patients but as an academic clinician you have the opportunity to help thousands.

Pete Thompson (@peteianthompson) and Nicola Melody (@NixMelody) from the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre (@NIHR_Trainees) are joining us for an #OTalk on Tuesday 1 st November at 8pm. They’ll be answering questions like the ones below about starting or progressing a clinical academic career and giving you the chance to ask questions and hear about opportunities. Join us

for what we hope will be a really exciting #OTalk

1. I have no research experience but I’m really interested; where should I start?

2. I have a PhD and really want to continue my research career; what opportunities are there?

3. I really want to continue working as an OT while developing my research career; how can I do this?

4. I want to apply to one of the programmes; is there any help I can get to put my application together?

5. How does OT research fit with the remit for the NIHR?

Nikki Daniels (@NikkiDanielsOT ) from the #OTalk Research Team will be support the chat.

Here are some of the links that NIHR referred to during  the chat:

Post Chat

Online Transcript

The Numbers
1,364,136 Impressions
567 Tweets
101 Participants
12 Avg Tweets/Hour
6 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


25th Oct 2016 – Impact of poor motor skills development on other areas of functioning.

This week’s #OTalk (25th October, 2016) will be hosted by members of Goldsmiths Action Lab, using the @GoldActionLab Twitter account.

Motor skills support every aspect of our daily life and, in early childhood, enable some of the first opportunities for a child to learn about their environment and to interact with others. Motor difficulties are characteristic of certain medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy. But they are also common in children that fall under the umbrella of ‘neurodevelopmental disorder’. A particular focus of our research interests is children with a diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder (DCD), which is often referred to as ‘dyspraxia’ in the UK. However, children with dyslexia or a language impairment, as well as those with an autism spectrum disorder, may also be differentially affected.

DCD is diagnosed on the basis of motor coordination difficulties and is thought to affect around 5-6%, which means that at least 1 child in a typical school classroom of 30 children would meet the criteria for DCD. Children with DCD are often referred for occupational therapy to help support motor skills training and increase functional outcomes. Certainly, difficulties with motor skill (including speed/accuracy of movements) and sequencing of motor actions will have repercussions on daily living skills (e.g., using cutlery, dressing) and in the classroom (e.g., handwriting). But, we believe, it is also important to be aware of how motor ability impacts on other aspects of development.

One strand of our research at the Goldsmiths Action Lab (http://www.goldactionlab.co.uk/) concerns how poor motor skill relates to social behaviour (for example, see Sumner, Leonard, & Hill, 2016). We find that children with motor difficulties also experience problems with developing peer relations. During this #OTalk we are keen to hear about the thoughts and experiences of practising and training OTs in relation to supporting and developing motor, and related, skills. We hope to stimulate conversations about how to support motor difficulties and what can be done to raise awareness of the impact of motor difficulties. The following questions are some points for discussion to get us started:

  1. Should we consider motor skill to be an important development skill? Why?
  2. What are your experiences of supporting children and/or adults with motor difficulties?
  3. How do you approach motor skills training: one approach fits all, or person-centered? Do you use a particular model?
  4. Have you observed how motor skill/difficulties impact on other aspects of development/functioning? In what way?
  5. How can we encourage teachers/parents to identify and support motor difficulties and their impact?


Note. Abbreviations for our Twitter talk: DCD = Developmental Coordination Disorder; ASD = autism spectrum disorder, although can be shortened to ‘autism’ to save characters!

Post Chat 

The Numbers
1,660,256 Impressions
672 Tweets
91 Participants
28 Avg Tweets/Hour
7 Avg Tweets/Participant

Online Transcript

#OTalk Participants