#OTalk 24th July 2018 – Play as a Goal in Paediatric OT

This weeks chat is on the topic of play as a goal in paediatric OT and will be hosted by our Student Digital Intern Carolina (@Colourful_OT).  Here is what Carolina has to say…

Play is recognised as one of children’s most important occupations and forms a major part of paediatric occupational therapy. However, a paper published this year (Moore and Lynch, 2018) found that the paediatric occupational therapists surveyed primarily used play as a “means” (e.g. using play to build rapport or as an intervention to improve motor skills) rather than as an “end” of therapy (e.g. carrying out interventions to enable a child to participate in play activities), and rarely set goals that related to children’s occupational performance in play. Barriers to play-centred practice identified included lack of education regarding play and play being perceived as a “waste of time” amongst parents and teachers unless it was being used for skill acquisition.

As a student who recently finished a placement in primary care paediatrics in which play was used extensively to improve handwriting and gross/fine motor skills, I found this paper thought-provoking, and I wanted to see what experience other occupational therapists have had of goal-setting around play. I am particularly interested to see if different approaches to play are taken in different areas of practice, and how setting goals relating to participation in play fits into other core concepts in occupational therapy, such as being occupation-focused and being child- and family-centred.

#OTalk discussion questions for this chat:

  1. Do you have experience of setting therapy goals or measuring outcomes relating to children’s participation in play?
  2. Do other occupations such as schoolwork and ADLs tend to take priority over play occupations in paediatric practice, and why?
  3. Can children’s play be accurately assessed using play assessments (e.g. the Play Observation Scale) and should these be more widely used?
  4. Do you think involving children more in goal-setting would lead to more play-focused therapy goals?


Alice Moore, Helen Lynch, (2018) “Play and play occupation: a survey of paediatric occupational therapy practice in Ireland”, Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol. 46 Issue: 1, pp.59-72, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOT-08-2017-0022


#OTalk 17th July 2018 – Models of Practice Education.

This weeks chat is on the topic of practice education models and will be hosted by Mary Mulry (@MulryMary).  Mary is a lecturer and practice education coordinator in Occupational Therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University. Here is what Mary had to say…

Practice education is an area of growing interest for me since assuming the role of Practice Education Coordinator last year. The role has opened my eyes to the challenges facing both educational institutions and practice educators in sourcing and providing adequate placements for occupational therapy students. Practice education is the backbone of our education as occupational therapists, yet despite its importance, there is an acknowledged shortage of placements.

With growing numbers of students needing placements, increasing resource shortages and lower staffing ratios, there is a growing expectation on occupational therapists to take more students every year. It is documented that a one to one model of practice education has its benefits however given the growing pressures on services and occupational therapists there is a greater need for practice educators and educational institutions to consider other models of practice education.

The move towards other models of practice education needs careful consideration. It needs to be evidence based and ensure that the quality of the placement is maintained. Peer learning has been documented as being beneficial when considering models of practice education, this facilitation of peer learning needs significant consideration when coordinating placements (Martin et al, 2004; Price et al, 2016).

The following are some questions to be considered:

  • What is your experience and/opinion of practice education models (practice educators and students)?
  • What supports do you feel need to be put in place for practice educators implementing the 3:1 or 2:1 model?
  • What are the benefits and/or challenges in implementing these models of practice education (3:1 and 2:1)?
  • Would you consider supporting students of various levels or of the same level as part of implementing 3:1 or 2:1 models of practice education?
  • Do you think some settings are more suited to implementing these models of practice education than others?


Martin, M. Morris, J. Moore, A. Sadio, G. and Crouch, V. (2004) Evaluating practice education models in occupational therapy: comparing 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1 placements. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 67(5) pp. 192-200.

Price, D. and Whiteside, M. (2016) Implementing the 2:1 student placement model in occupational therapy: Strategies for practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 63(2) pp. 88-95.



#OTalk Chats – Question and Answer Session. 10 July 2018

Good evening all,

#Otalk ___

We would like to invite you to join us for an informal question and answer session. 8pm (UK), Tuesday 10th July 2018.

This topic was sparked whilst the #OTalk organising team where having our last planning meeting. We noticed that this year at the current moment, although some slots are taken after we have slots for topics (& hosts) from 28th August 2018. This in contrast to last year when we where almost booked up to end of the year by end of July! Oh but it is only the 10th of July I hear you say! You are correct, but we had a space and thought it would be a good idea for the chat.

So, please feel free to ask any questions you may have about any aspect of #OTalk, but we would love to explore questions from people who are considering hosting a chat.

We would love any previous #OTalk hosts to join us and share their experience of hosting a chat.

We will also allocate some time for people to share what topics they are interested in with a view to possible collaborations or joint hosted chats?

As always we are open to ideas and will consider all requests from the community.

Thanks, looking forward to sharing with you all.

Post Chat

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript July 10th 2018

The Numbers

399.544K Impressions
83 Tweets
19 Participants
66 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk Research Tuesday 3rd July: Face validity: what is it, why is it important and how do we evaluate it?

This week’s chat is on the topic of Face validity and will be hosted by Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett, Associate Professor at York St John University (@alisonlaverfaw).  Here is what Alison had to say…

Face validity is the extent an assessment subjectively appears to test what it is supposed to; good face validity ensures an assessment is client-centred, acceptable to the test-taker, and to the person administering it (Asher 2007).

I conducted my first face validity study around 1990-1 when I was undertaking a project to develop, standardise and evaluate the psychometric properties of an assessment, the Structured Observational Test of Function (SOTOF), as the focus for my PhD studies. At the time I struggled to find face validity reported and discussed in occupational therapy literature. A key psychometric text I was drawing on at the time by Anastasi (1988) also had noted there was a “paucity of available research on face validity, despite its probable contribution to prevalent attitudes towards tests” (p. 145). The COSMIN checklist manual (Mokkink et al., 2012: 31) stated that no standards were developed for assessing face validity because ‘face validity requires a subjective judgement’, so unlike other types of validity and reliability, there is a lack of agreed standards for face validity studies

Years later when writing about validity for a text book I found there was still a lack of face validity studies published, not just in occupational therapy but also wider allied health assessment literature. This seems counter-intuitive as occupational therapists are supposed to be client centred; so why aren’t we studying the face validity of occupational therapy assessments and outcome measures as a matter of routine? Do we really think that it doesn’t matter what our clients’ experiences of undertaking an assessment is? Or what they think about what is being assessed /measured and how the assessment is done?

In the last few years I have been undertaking work with occupational therapy students exploring the face validity of a couple of measures. For example, in the final year ‘Dissertation: Contributing to the Evidence base’ module on the Occupational Therapy Programme at York St John University, some small groups of students have been collaborating to undertake face validity studies on the Activity Card Sort – United Kingdom version (e.g. see Laver-Fawcett et al, 2016). This year students have explored the face validity of the SOTOF (2nd edition) with community living older people and a MSc by Research student is exploring the face validity of SOTOF (2nd ed) with people in an in-patient setting who have neurological conditions such as stroke.

In this chat we will explore what face validity is and how it is defined; we will debate whether it is important for occupational therapy researchers to consider face validity (both when developing and evaluating measures and when selecting outcome measures for research); and we will discuss methodology for evaluating and exploring face validity.

Whether you are an experienced researcher, a clinician or a student please join us on 2nd May for this #OTalk twitter chat and share your ideas and experience. It is never too early in your occupational therapy career to start engaging in the development and evaluation of occupational therapy assessments and outcome measures.

Suggested talking points and discussion questions to focus our chat:

  1. What do you understand by the term ‘face validity’? Do you have any definitions that you have found useful?
  2. Why is face validity important to study when developing or selecting occupational therapy assessments and outcome measures?
  3. When selecting an outcome measure for research how could you consider face validity?
  4. Have you ever undertaken research to evaluate the face validity of an assessment or outcome measure? How did you do this?
  5. What methodologies can be used to explore and evaluate face validity?


Asher I.E. (2007) Occupational Therapy Assessment Tools: An annotated index. 3rd ed. Bethesda, American Occupational Therapy Association.

Laver-Fawcett A J, Brain L, Brodie C, Cardy L, Manaton L (2016) The Face Validity and Clinical Utility of the Activity Card Sort – United Kingdom (ACS-UK). British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(8) 492–504. doi:10.1177/0308022616629167. Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0308022616629167 (accessed 25th June 2018).

Mokkink LB, Terwee CB, Patrick DL, Alonso J, Stratford PW, Knol DL, Bouter LM and de Vet HCW (2012) COSMIN checklist manual. Available at: http://www.cosmin.nl/images/upload/files/COSMIN%20checklist%20manual%20v9.pdf (accessed 25 June 2018).

Post chat

Chat host : Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett @alisonlaverfaw

On OTalk account for support: Dr Jenny Preston @preston_jenny

Online transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript July 3rd 2018

The Numbers

253Avg Tweets/Hour
14Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk 26th June 2018- Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

This weeks chat is on the topic of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs) and will be hosted by Sarah Sharland (@SarahSharland19).  Here is what Sarah had to say…

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in 2007. It was designed to protect those who were deemed vulnerable or who may have an impaired ability to make decisions for any reason that affects the functioning of their minds. It can also be used to support those who do have capacity and are planning for their future care needs. Everyone working within the MCA should feel confident in applying the principles and supporting people to make decisions for themselves. Should the person be assessed as lacking capacity, then any decision regarding their care should be made in their best interests.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) were brought in as a result of a Supreme Court ruling, as an amendment to the MCA 2005, and apply in only England and Wales. They ensure that when restraints and restrictions are used under the Act, that the person is protected and represented. They also ensure that any implementations are the least restrictive possible and are regularly reviewed. DOLS can only be used if the person is being deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital. As part of the legislation, the person must have an advocate or representative, and they also have the ability to challenge or appeal the authorisations within the legal system.

Questions for the OTalk chat:

  1. How does the Mental Capacity Act affect your practice?
  2. Are you involved in mental capacity assessments, and what is your role/setting?
  3. How confident do you feel in your knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act? Please give reasons for this (training, experience etc)
  4. How confident do you feel in your knowledge of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards? Please give reasons for this (training, experience etc)
  5. What do you think are the benefits of involving occupational therapists in MCA and DOLS assessments?


Hosting the chat: Sarah Sharland @SarahSharland19

Support on @OTalk account Rachel @OT_rach

Online Tanscript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript June 26th 2018

The Numbers

935.396K Impressions
250 Tweets
24 Participants
200 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk 19th June 2018 – Can you meet the RCOT strategic Intentions and keep occupation at the focus of your practise?

This week our own Rachel Booth @OT_rach will host the chat, following on from a pledge she made at this years Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) annual conference. #RCOT2018

During the conference we were asked to make a pledge about how we would do our part to ensure the new strategic intentions are met.

RCOT’s Strategic Intentions represent their leadership response to the challenges of the changing landscape of health and social care.

They position occupational therapy as a key contributor to the health and wellbeing of UK citizens and provide a framework for how the Royal College will support its staff, members and the wider profession.

Strategic intention 1

Position the profession, and our members, for the 21st century

Strategic intention 2

Enhance the profile of the profession to a range of audiences

Strategic intention 3

Ensure RCOT is a thriving membership organisation within which members flourish. 

You can watch the launch video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=bFF5PoVngKM

One of the things that struck me about lots of the pledges and the conference its self was the idea we need to ensure ‘occupation’ is central to our work.  I’m guilty of losing the occupation as I concentrate on all the daily tasks we are told we need to compete, and want to learn from others as to how to reintroduce this focus. 

We are the experts in ‘occupation’ and need to ensure that our practise holds this at its heart. My pledge was to host a #OTalk on what do we really mean by occupation? Hence tonights chat. 

The Questions 

Question 1 : Before tonight’s chat had you heard of RCOT’S strategic intentions? If so what are your thoughts? How do you think they could be met?

Question 2: What is you’re understanding of ‘occupation’ and it’s meaning with occupational therapy?

Question 3 How do you describe occupation to your colleagues and users of your service?

Question 4: How do you or can you ensure you are ‘occupation’ focused in your interventions?

Question 5: What if anything will you do differently to put ‘occupation’ at the heart of what you do?

Question 6: What is your pledge to meet the RCOT strategic intentions?

Post Chat

Hosting the chat Rachel Booth @OT_rach

On the @OTalk_ account for support Kirstie @kirstie_OT

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript June 19th 2018

The Numbers

1.843M Impressions
516 Tweets
45 Participants
413 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


RCOT 2018 Final Blog 20. Thank You

This is a short final blog with a very important message……

“Thank You” to all of the members of the blog squad who have given up some of their valuable conference time to provide personal insights into some of the sessions they attended and some of their conference experiences.

You can find out who they are and a little bit about them here. But for now lets thank

  • Marie Baistow
  • Elspeth Clark
  • Faye Dunford
  • Catherine Gray
  • Orla Hughes
  • Rachel Imms
  • Catherine McNulty
  • Amie Mowlam-Tette
  • Cathy Roberts

Everyone has included their personal Twitter handle at the end of the blogs they have written if you want to make contact.

It’s not easy to try to distil the essence of conference sessions, especially some of the main keynotes, but, having read them all, they have done a fabulous job.

Not only have they been writing away but also over coming a range of different technology challenges, batteries going flat, computers not connecting to wifi, photos not sending etc etc.

So on behalf of us all Thanks Guys – you’ve done a great job.

Written by Lynne Goodacre @lynnegoodacre