#OTalk – 3rd February 2015 – Surfing and PTSD

Deborah Harrison (@DebbiiHarrison), occupational therapy lecturer at University of East Anglia, and Dr Nick Caddick, sports psychologist from Loughborough University, will be hosting an #OTalk on the 3rd of February at 8pm GMT based on Carly Rogers’ TEDx Talk: ‘Surfing – Infinite Possibilities to Heal’ (link opens in new window). In her talk, Rogers talks about her work as an ocean lifeguard, occupational therapist and surfer, using surfing as a therapeutic medium to heal.

Below is an excerpt from Deborah’s blog post that discusses Ocean Therapy and refers to research by Dr Caddick and Carly Rogers:

Millions of pounds of corporate and charity money are being channelled into sport in the UK for people with combat injuries; but do we know that this money is being spent in the best way? Do we know what really works in recovery and why?

In my last blog I talked specifically about motorsport but in this one I’m going to discuss sport and extreme challenges more generally. Involvement in sport as a part of rehabilitation for combat injury is mainstream these days. There are numerous inspirational and moving accounts of young people being saved from near death on the battlefield and then going on to achieve the extraordinary. Excelling in athletics, climbing mountains, rowing the Atlantic and tackling extreme off-road racing are all examples. This is a positive development on many levels, for the individuals finding a new purpose in life, because of the many people who are inspired by these stories and for the challenge to negative views of people with disability in society.

So all good? Not necessarily.

Full text available on her blog.

Here is the link to Dr Caddicks’s web site with references to his work: www.nickcaddickacademic.com

And finally, a link to a charity in the UK delivering surfing for PTSD: http://www.surfaction.co.uk/


1.       Are occupational therapists working with veterans with PTSD?

2.       What interventions are OTs using with veterans and/or people with PTSD?

3.       To what extent are OTs using sport in their practice?

4.       Are there any questions for Dr Caddick about his research methods or findings?

5.       How important is the ‘green gym’ or ‘blue gym’ in OT practice?

6.       What evidence base are OTs referring to for their interventions?

If this is your first tweetchat, check out this page for a beginner’s guide to tweetchatting and contact Clarissa (@GeekyOT) – who will be supporting the chat – with any questions you might have.

If you need a reminder about the chat, join our Facebook event.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the chat:

The Numbers

775,491 Impressions
409 Tweets
54 Participants

You can read the transcript here, or download the PDF.

Remember to document your engagement with with CPD activity – check out our resources page for some tips.


#OTalk – 27th January 2015 – Stigma

This week’s #OTalk will be hosted by Dai Davies (@Dai2584) on the topic of stigma. 

As usual, the chat will take place on Twitter using the #OTalk hashtag at 8pm GMT (click the link to find out your local time). If you’re new to tweetchats, check out our guide for participants and contact me (@geekyOT) if you need any extra help getting to grips with #OTalk.

Here is an excerpt of Dai’s blog post. Please visit his blog for the full post: ‘Challenging Stigma in Healthcare‘.

Stigma is present in all aspects of our society and it can severely affect people’s meaningful participation in our society and quite frankly put, sometimes, insurmountable barriers for people to be part and feel part of our communities.

I want you to think about a few questions before the chat:

Have you been stigmatised and how did this effect you?

  1. Did you challenge this and how?
  2. Have you witness stigma affecting a patient’s recovery?
  3. Did you challenge this and how?
  4. What way does society stigmatise our patients?
  5. Have you challenged this and how?


Thank you to everyone who joined in tonight’s chat:

The Numbers

1,151,329 Impressions
596 Tweets
63 Participants

You can read the transcript of the chat at the Healthcare Hashtags website or download the PDF.

Don’t forget to document your participation. Visit our blog for a template you can use for your CPD portfolio.

#OTalk 20th Jan 2015 – War and Occupation

Thanks to Kim Stuart for this week’s blog post on War and Occupation.

In November 2014 the nation remembered the centenary of World War I drawing attention across the world with the iconic poppies at Tower of London. Each poppy representing a fallen soldier; but it was much more than that for each lost soldier was a son, perhaps father, brother or husband and they were connected to a family and community and that loss was felt in immeasurable ways.

Today the world remains at conflict and war is a part of life for many people whether in active service or living with the impact of conflict. Research shows that civilians both in direct conflict areas and those touched by conflict overseas are susceptible to mental and physical health issues, community disengagement, social disintegration, trauma (mental and physical) and experience a loss of roles, routines and opportunities for personal accomplishment (Unicef 1996, Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2011, Murthy and Lakshminarayana 2006).

As a profession we believe in the restorative nature of occupation; the engagement in occupation is complex with physical, psychological socio-cultural and political influences pulling and shaping opportunities and challenges in enabling occupational wellness (Whiteford, Townsend and Hocking 2000). Occupation is a basic human need and Dunton (1919) claims it is as essential as food, drink or air.

The notion that occupation is a basic right or human need leads us to think that social injustice is a territory of concern for occupational therapist on an individual, community and global perspective. How should the profession rise to challenge these injustices?

“Occupational therapists should consider using the term occupational rights to assert the right of all people to engage in meaningful occupations that contribute positively to their own well-being and the well-being of their communities.”

Whalley Hammell (2008)

  • Right to experience occupation as meaningful and enriching.
  • Right to develop through participation in occupations for health and social inclusion
  • Right to exert individual or population autonomy through choice in occupation
  • Right to benefit from fair privileges for diverse participation in occupations

Wilcock and Townsend (2000)

What supports our bold claim – what are occupational rights of people in times of conflict? And what impact does war have on the occupational life for civilian people at times of conflict whether directly involved in conflict or at a distance?


Unicef (1996) Promotion and protection of the rights of children – Impact of armed conflict on children. United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development online.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2011) The impact of overseas conflict on UK communities. http://www.jrf.org.uk

Murthy, R., and Lakshminarayana, R. (2006) Mental health consequences of war: a brief review of research findings. World Psychiatry 5(1) pp 25-30

Whiteford, G., Townsend, E., and Hocking, C. (2000) Reflections on a renaissance of occupation. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy 67(1) pp61-69

Wilcock, A.A. & Townsend, E. (2000). Occupational terminology interactive dialogue. Journal of Occupational Science 7, 2, 84-86.

Whalley Hammell, K. and Iwama, M. (2008) Well-being and occupational rights: An imperative for critical occupational therapy. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2012, Vol. 19, No. 5 : Pages 385-394

Dunton, W.R. Jnr. (1919) Reconstruction therapy. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders

The original intention was to get OTalkers to engage with narratives of War prior to the chat – from first person accounts, to war poetry, novels and films – but my delay in posting this may mean this isn’t possible. However, I’m sure we each have some prior knowledge we can draw on. I will include a list of potential narratives below – there are many more possibilities – do feel free to add any further suggestions in the comments – and come back and add your thoughts after reading/watching them.

War Horse – Michael Morpurgo (Novel and Film and Theatre)

Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo (Novel and Film and Concert)

The Yellow Birds – Kevin Powers (Novel)

Wilfred Owen – (War Poet)

Siegfried Sasson – (War Poet)

The Regeneration Trilogy (Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, The Ghost Road)- Pat Barker (Novels and Regeneration is a film)

War Girls – Various (Short Story collection)

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Novel)

I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai (Autobiography)

The Kite Runner –

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank (Autobiography)

Creating CPD Activities 13th January 2015

Hello OTalkers this week we will be discussing the range of activities that we can use for our CPD.

As I am sure you are all aware those of us in the UK will be audited this year….. So following requests from the community we thought we would dedicate a chat to just this. If anyone who has been audited would like to get in touch or join is this would be great.

Now we all know that attending courses, conferences and workshops can be great CPD activities, however we would like to explore the range of activities discussed by the HCPC. With this in mind we would ask that people join us to share other maybe more ‘creative’ activities that they have included in their CPD repertoire.

You may find the following recording of the webinar from the HCPC informative.

HCPC Webinar September 2014. 

Here is a short video that explores the CPD Standards further.

The Standards for CPD are:

1. maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities;

2. demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice;

3. seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery;

4. seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user; and

5. upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the standards for CPD.

Another useful document from the HCPC:

Your duties as a registrant: Your guide to our standards for continuing professional development

HCPC –  Standards of Proficiency for Occupational Therapists. 

We look forward to sharing and exploring all things CPD.

If you are not in the UK check time and date for conversion here. 

Post chat updates:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the chat.

13 Jan 15

#OTalk Participants

The HealthCare Hashtags online transcript.

PDF of the transcript: #OTalk 13th January 2015

#OTalk – 6th Jan 2015 – Journal Article Review

Please read this article in preparation for tomorrow’s #OTalk Relationships Among Occupation/Activity Patterns, Health and Stress Perceptions, and Life Orientation in Well Adults Open Journal of Occupational Therapy Barbara Prudhomme White and Amy Ma. Happy New Year Kirsty

Discussion Topics for tonight

Here’s a link to the Perceived Stress Scale – http://www.mindgarden.com/products/pss.htm

And here’s a link to the Life Orientation Test – R which looks at optimism/pessimism – http://www.psy.cmu.edu/faculty/scheier/scales/LOTR_Scale.pdfese

What is your opinion on these scales, what are the pros and cons of using self report measures?

Looking at the 85 activity items how varied do you consider your overall activity level? Are there any activities that you would like to increase engagement in, in 2015?

Considering optimism and pessimism – how fixed a trait do you think this is? In your experience what might influence this – have you had experience of activity levels impacted on your orientation in any way?

Considering this was completed with well adults how can you apply this to practice? How could it be useful in your clinical area?
What challenges can you see to asking about unhealthy activities and how might you overcome these?
There is a mention about preparing clients for intervention by exploring their life orientation, can you think of some ways that you can do that?