#OTalk 4th August 2015 – Exercise as an Occupation

#OTalk on 4th August will be hosted by @clairehannah3 on the topic of Exercise as an Occupation.

Please see the introduction Claire has written on the topic.

Topic – Exercise and physical activity as an occupation

My name is Claire Passmore and I am currently undertaking the MSc in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cumbria.

As a keen participant in physical exercise on a regular basis (when uni assignments allow!!), exercise is a meaningful occupation to myself. There are several reasons or motivating factors that encourage me to take part in exercise and physical activities. These include weight loss; improve fitness and the feel good factor associated with taking part in physical activity – increased self-esteem and confidence and generally feeling healthier and more positive.

When working with clients in occupational therapy practice in my previous role as an occupational therapy technical instructor in an acute medical setting, as well as a student OT in community adult and community paediatric settings, exercise and physical activity as an occupation has been something that has rarely been discussed with clients.

However, one setting of which I have experienced exercise and physical activity discussed as an occupation, is within the cardiac rehabilitation team that I worked with in my role as an occupational therapy technical instructor. A big part of this specific cardiac rehabilitation programme, and others like it is an exercise programme designed by both the physiotherapist and the occupational therapist, whereby participants take part in order to improve their cardiovascular fitness and overall health.

Exercise and physical activity are becoming an increasingly significant part of so many people’s lives, particularly with so much emphasis on the health benefits of taking part in physical activity (NHS Choices, 2015a). Physical activity recommendations advise adults to achieve a total of at least 150 minutes over a week, of at least moderate activity, in bouts of at least 10 minute duration (NHS Choices, 2015b). It was reported in 2012 in the Health Survey for England (2012) that 67% of men and 55% of women, in England, met these recommendations, however, although these statistics could be viewed as somewhat significant, it makes me question why these percentages are not higher.

This brings me on to the reason I wanted to discuss exercise as an occupation in this week’s #OTalk. I wanted to explore how exercise and physical activity are incorporated in to occupational therapy practice and how OTs play a part in the promotion of participation in physical activity and exercise.

Several questions that may get you thinking:

  • Is exercise and physical activity viewed more from a leisure aspect of daily activities, or can it be viewed as productivity or self care also?
  • Is exercise and physical activity, as a meaningful occupation, incorporated in to OT practice? If so, what are the settings in which it is incorporated?
    • If not, why not? What are the reasons for this?
  • How can we incorporate exercise and physical activity as an occupation in OT practice?
  • How can we empower clients to fulfil exercise and physical activity as a meaningful occupation?


Department of Health (2011) Physical activity guidelines for adults (19-64): Factsheet 4. Available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_127931

NHS Choices (2015a) Benefits of Exercise. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Whybeactive.aspx (Accessed on: 28th July 2015)

NHS Choices (2015b) Physical activity guidelines for adults. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx (Accessed on 28th July 2015)

The Health Survey for England (2012) The Health and Social Care Information Centre. Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB13218


The Numbers

893,680 Impressions
442 Tweets
45 Participants

Healthcare Hashtag Online Transcript

#OTalk Transcript – 4 August 2015 – PDF of Transcript


#OTalk 28th July – Identity change in children with an acquired brain injury (ABI).

Tonight’s chat will be hosted by @DebLants who has written the following post to introduce tonight’s topic

What makes your identity?

Our identity is who we are, our past experiences, our memories, our confidence, our friends, our family, our home, our hobbies, what we look like, our sense of humour, our strength’s and challenges… our identity is how we understand, perceive and experience the world around us – interconnections between our neurology, environment and spirituality.


Children that have an ABI have experienced a vast change in who they are. One moment they are who they have always have known themselves to be, the next they are different and face lots of challenges. This causes a change in their identity, they are no longer the person that they have always known themselves to be.

Memory may have been affected meaning that they have difficulty remembering the past or creating memories. They may no longer be able to participate in their hobbies – they may not even be interested in these hobbies anymore. They may lose old friends, and gain new friends with difficulties too. They may not be able to live in the home they were in prior to their ABI as they are now a wheelchair user. They may look different because of the injury or medications. Their role within their family may have changed and their parent may also have the extra role as a carer. The list goes on and on.

The added difficulty for children is that they were already growing and changing, learning new skills and knowledge everyday – which was part of their identity. Also, depending on their age, the child may have difficulty to understand the obscure concept of identity, meaning that they portray and explain this in different ways – ways that therapists have to learn to adapt to.

“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.” Richard grant – American author.

A simplified and multi sensory approach of brain injury training can aid a child to understand and gain insight into their illness without overloading them with jargon and scary thoughts. This can lead to an acceptance of the changes and a willingness to face the challenges ahead – something that Occupational Therapists (OT) can support and encourage. Also, by learning what a child used to identify themselves with OT’s can then plan therapeutic sessions around this with the hope to increase motivation. For example, a child may have loved to play football but now can’t in the same way. An OT could plan sessions around the rules of the game, planning the tactics of the game, working on gross motor skills of throwing and kicking etc.

dr seuss

The majority of the models of practice used to guide our interventions as Occupational Therapist’s (OT) highlight the importance of the self. Such as – Reed and Sanderson’s Human Occupation Model, the Model of Human Occupation and the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement. Illuminating that as Occupational Therapists we work with a person as a whole, including all parts of themselves and therefore their sense of self.

These children may have an acquired brain injury, but, our role as OT’s is to support the children to ensure their brain injury does not become their identity. Instead their new found courage, resilience and endurance does, along with all their new and re-learned skills and knowledge. Something they and their families will be extremely proud of.


Here are three tips on how to talk to a child with an ABI:


An interesting and relevant read:

How an Occupational Therapist should conceptualise self-awareness following traumatic brain injury in childhood – a literature review by Lorna Wales 2013 in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Questions to consider:

  1. What can you do as an OT to help a child build their new identity positively?
  2. What has the biggest impact on identity change for children after an ABI?
  3. How can we help parents/family understand the child’s new identity?
  4. How can we communicate with a child about the change in their identity?
  5. Is identity the same as occupational identity? And which one are OT’s concerned with?

Please find the link and PDF of the Chat Transcript

#OTalk 21st July 2015 – Getting Ready for HCPC CPD Audit

Thanks to Sarah Lawson for writing today’s pre-chat blog post 

Did you know that Occupational therapists are due for their biennial HCPC audit this year – August – October to be exact! 2.5% of us will be randomly selected to submit our CPD profile. (HCPC, 2012)
Join @OTalk_ and Sarah Lawson from the @TRAMmCPD team (www.TRAMmCPD.com) to chat about how you’re getting ready for audit.

CPD is a personal journey, to be effective you need to Tell others, Record and apply your CPD Activities, Monitor your progress and measure the impact. The TRAMm Model is a dynamic, interactive model to facilitate a strategic approach to CPD for HCPC registered health and care professionals. It provides a framework to facilitate your CPD journey. It reflects how individuals learn, absorb and apply new experiences.

The TRAMm Tracker provides a template to structure, plan and record CPD whilst highlighting any learning needs. The TRAMm Trail provides a method to record in a little more depth the most significant pieces of CPD and can be used alongside your favoured method of reflection. The TRAMm Model, TRAMm Tracker and TRAMm Trail are collectively known as TRAMmCPD (Lawson et al, 2014 & Hearle et al, 2015)
Questions for Discussion 

1. Will you know what to do and what is expected of you if you get THAT letter through your door?

2. Do you know where to get help and resources from?

3. Do you know what the HCPC Five Standards for CPD are?

4. How can TRAMmCPD help you with the HCPC Audit?

5. Do you know what type of evidence you can submit?

6. Do you know how to measure the effectiveness of your CPD?

7. What are you most concerned about?

8. If you are not selected this time for audit what are you going to put in place over the next two years so that you are ready next time CPD audit comes around?



Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) (2012) Your Guide to our Standards for Continuing Professional Development. London: Health and Care Professions Council


Hearle, D, Lawson, S & Morris, R (2015) The TRAMm Model: A Strategic Guide to CPD for Health and Social Care Professionals. Keswick: M&K Publishing (In Press)


Lawson, S; Morris, R; & Hearle, D. (2014) A Continuous, Dynamic and Strategic Journey. OT News 22(5) p34


Please find link and PDF of chat transcript.

#OTalk 7th July 2015 – Celebrating Service/Innovation with The OT Show 

This week’s #otalk is hosted by Mike Hulse from The OT Show @TheOTShow.

Backgound:In most industries and professions, there is a constant need for service and product innovation and development, whether this is to improve profit, efficiency, enhanced customer/client experience or a mix of these.


This is no different for Occupational Therapy; as more and more people require OT services, ways of working may need to change in order to keep waiting lists down, particularly within an NHS or Social Services setting where budgets are more limited and cuts are happening more often, putting a greater demand on the service.



With all the successful service developments and innovations that have been occurring recently within OT, but not necessarily promoted within the profession, the Occupational Therapy Show has put together an awards programme which will celebrate and acknowledge successful individuals and teams within OT.


One particular category of the Occupational Therapy Show Awards is the Outstanding Service/Innovation Award, and would like to celebrate the individuals or teams that recognise a need for development/innovation within OT, and actively seek to provide a new service/product which works towards reducing or potentially eliminating any issues OTs/clients may encounter. To make a new service successful, it is vital for an individual or team to plan effectively, therefore, the Occupational Therapy Show Awards are looking to understand what an individual/team’s objectives were when developing a new service/product and what the desired outcome was to be? We would also seek to understand the impact made within a department and to your clients, and if objectives are being/not being met? We are also interested in whether new services/products are being evaluated and assessed on a continuous basis so further improvements are being made?


Jen Gash from OTCoach who will be co-ordinating the awards and chairing the panel of judges says “there is so much great work happening out there and many OTs work without due recognition or reward. These new awards are a chance to celebrate the work of OTs”.


Panel judges:


Robert Birmingham, Independent OT

Liz Waterman, Retired from J Webb, but now Private Business Consultant

Anna Clampin, Course Director MSc Occupational Therapy Coventry University. Previous Head of Education and Learning for COT

Teresa Buchan, Head of Practice development, Kent & Medway NHS


The winner(s) of each award (not per person) will receive a prize of £250 to go towards enhancing your CPD.

The DEADLINE for submitting your entry is 31st July 2015.

Entry forms must be emailed to Mike Hulse on or before the deadline (m.hulse@closerstillmedia.com). For more information, visit www.theotshow.com/awards.



Questions to consider when looking at developing a new/innovative service (and to guide this #otalk):


How do you recognise the need for service improvement/innovation?


Should you include the OT team’s input in developing a new/innovative service?


What can you do to ensure that your desired outcomes are relevant to the department, clients or both?


What measures could you put in place? Or are any measures needed?

Please find the link and PDF of the chat transcript