#OTalk Research Chats, OTalk

#OTalk Research – Tuesday 5th June: Is working in research a viable option for occupational therapists?

The research #OTalk at 8.00pm on 5th June 2018 is being hosted by ROTTERS Plymouth (with ROTTERS Exeter and ROTTERS Truro) and supported Lynne Goodacre from the #OTalk Research team.


The reason for choosing this topic is because, whilst research is a recognised part of the work of an occupational therapist, it is not always clear how you can work as a researcher in occupational therapy. We have invited some occupational therapists, who are working in research, to join in the discussion. We will tweet to let you know who has agreed to participate; we are hoping for a great discussion informed by occupational therapists who have experience of working in research.


In our #OTalk we hope to discuss what sort of research roles exist, whether research roles are financially viable and if it possible to research occupation in these roles. We hope that the contributions from people, who are working in research roles, will provide invaluable insight into working as an occupational therapist in research especially in terms of providing top tips for an occupational therapist seeking a career in research.


We offer the following questions as a basis for reflection and discussion:


  1. What roles are available for occupational therapists wanting to work in research?


  1. Are there any financially secure research jobs? (i.e. Are there only fixed/ short term rather than permanent contracts? Or do you have to combine research work with another role?)


  1. Is it possible to work solely on occupation focussed research projects?


  1. Where do you find out about research jobs?


  1. What would be your top tip for an occupational therapist seeking a career in research?


Prepared by Solei Naisbett-Jones, Elspeth Clark, Rachel Rawlings, Martha Hocking and Katrina Bannigan on behalf of Plymouth ROTTERS.





Post Chat

Hosting Chat  @ROTTERsPlym @KatrinaBannigan with support from @ROTTERsExeter@ROTTERSTruro @OTPlymouthUni @PIELRes

On the #OTalk account  @LynneGoodacre

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript June 5th 2018

The Numbers

1.241M Impressions
714 Tweets
67 Participants
571 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 29th May – Implementing the recovery approach in OT practice.

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “the recovery approach” and will be hosted by Jenny Hong (@OTJennyH).

Here is what Jenny had to say…

I’m currently in my last year of an OT course at Brunel University London. I have a range of interests in occupational therapy, from forensic and pediatrics settings to green care, animal-assisted therapy and recovery approaches. I’m continuously exploring every area I am exposed to in order to gain understanding, both personally and professionally. As most of my research currently focus on OT and the recovery model within mental health, I want to host a OTalk session to discuss and understand the different perspectives members within this profession have in regards to this area. I also hope this session provides opportunities for members to reflect on their practice and future work.

The recovery model applied to psychiatric settings is comparatively recent. The National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) guiding statement on recovery includes guiding principles to deliver recovery-oriented mental health services (2005). At the beginning of the 21st century, the United Kingdom’s government policy and guidance took a recovery and hope approach to mental health and illness, as described by Rankin’s (2005) Rethink press release. Themes in this approach include recovery, employment, social inclusion, equality, and health improvement (COT, 2006). Mental health services are currently being redesigned under new policy and legislation to focus on integrating recovery, vocational opportunities, and social inclusion within communities to meet the needs of patients and in turn, providing equal opportunity and better mental and physical wellbeing (COT, 2006).

These recovery ideals closely align with values of occupational therapy in using a holistic, client-centred and client-led approach, highlighting strengths, monitoring outcomes, and emphasising hope towards recovery (COT, 2006). The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) defines autonomy to be “the freedom to make choices based on consideration of internal and external circumstances and to act on these choices” for occupational engagement and participation to lead a meaningful life (ENOTHE, 2004). Therefore, occupational therapy is pivotal and valuable to empower patient autonomy-promoting occupational engagement and supporting patient recovery. As the recovery approaches/principles are currently expected in occupational therapy practice, I’d like to explore how qualified OTs/prospective OTs perceive this.

So my questions to you are:

  1. Have you used recovery approaches/principles in your work as a qualified OT? If so, did these approaches originate from the recovery model or OT frameworks/models? If not, why?
  2. If you’re a prospective OT, how would you include recovery principles in your future OT practice?
  3. What are your thoughts in using recovery principles in OT work?
  4. How do you think your clients/service users understand your therapy work? Are recovery principles explicitly demonstrated in your interventions?
  5. Currently, there is no guidance for OTs to apply recovery approaches by RCOT. What are your thoughts about this? Should RCOT follow the AOTA and OTAustralia by releasing explicit guidance on this for OTs in the UK?

Post Chat

The Host Jenny Hong @OTJennyH

On the OTalk account Rachel @OT_rach

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript May 29th 2018

The Numbers

740.102K Impressions
233 Tweets
26 Participants
186 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk 22nd May 2018 – The role of Occupational Therapy in compulsive hoarding

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “hoarding” and will be hosted by Orla Hughes (@Orlatheot).

What is compulsive hoarding?

Compulsive hoarding, or hoarding disorder, is a pattern of behaviour that is identified by the following characteristics:

  1. Having difficulty or an inability to discard possessions (NHS Choices, 2015).
  2. Excessively acquiring objects, regardless of their monetary value, which prevents use of living and work spaces (Tolin, Frost, and Steketee, 2014).
  3. As a result, considerable impairment or distress in occupational, social, or other critical areas of functioning is present (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
  4. The hoarding symptoms are not restricted to symptoms of another mental or physical condition, for example, food storing issues as a symptom of Prader-Willi Syndrome (Mataix-Cols et al., 2010).

This condition was formerly recognised to be a symptom of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) but due to recent research, it is now classed as a separate diagnostic entity by healthcare providers and in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Pertusa et al., 2010; Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2016).

The prevalence of compulsive hoarding

Clients who have the behaviours of hoarding and acquiring are common issues faced by staff in health, social-care, housing and environmental services (Dissanayake, 2012). A prevalence rate of 2-5% in the population have been found through studies in Europe and the United States (Bratiotis, Schmalsich and Steketee, 2011). Yet, when analysing these figures, in studies such as Samuels et al. (2008), it is not clear whether the 4% of participants who were found to compulsively hoard would have met the new diagnostic criteria outlined for the condition in this study. As a result, more research is needed in this field to quantify the population who compulsively hoard.

Current MDT practice

Although guidance is provided for working with hoarding symptoms within OCD, there is no specific guidance for working with compulsive hoarding (NICE, 2005). However, the NHS Choices website describes the condition and recommends Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as the common treatment for the condition (NHS, 2015). A comprehensive search of the literature, from the fields of psychology and psychiatry, revealed that compulsive hoarding is mainly treated with both CBT and medication (Tolin D.F. et al., 2015). Serotoninergic drugs, such as fluvoxamine, have seen benefits for clients, yet no medication is currently advertising to treat compulsive hoarding (Saxena, 2008; Soares, Fernandes, and Morgado, 2016). CBT can include motivational interviewing, psychoeducation, developing cognitive techniques highlighting dysfunctional beliefs, and the graded discarding and sorting of items (Steketee and Frost, 2014). This combination has shown modest clinically-significant results for clients finishing treatments and therefore papers call for further studies to investigate the issues these clients confront and how to improve their well-being (Tolin D.F. et al., 2015; Vilaverde, Gonçalves, and Morgado, 2017).

Compulsive hoarding and occupational therapy

Compulsive hoarding can decrease occupational engagement in many areas of life, appropriate for occupational therapy input, such as functional independence, roles, and the social and physical environment (Dissanayake, 2012). Recent quantitative research, conducted by Dissanayake, Barnard, and Willis (2017), investigates the role of occupational therapy in the assessment and treatment of compulsive hoarding and calls for further research involving occupational therapy and this population which can begin to inform clinical practice.

Here are the questions we will be discussing:

  1. How would compulsive hoarding affect a person, how they perform their occupations, and interact with their environment?
  2. Do you feel equipped to work collaboratively with this population?
  3. What ethical issues do you predict you would encounter with this population?
  4. What occupational therapy interventions could be utilised?
  5. Finally, what could the role of occupational therapy be in this setting (the assessment and treatment of compulsive hoarding)?


American Psychiatric Association. (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th edn. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Bratiotis, C., Schmalisch, S., and Steketee, G. (2011) The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dissanayake, S. (2012) ‘Clearing the Clutter,’ in OT News, February 20 (2) pp.24-25 published by The Royal College of Occupational Therapists: London, UK

Dissanayake, S., Barnard, E., & Willis, S. (2017): “The emerging role of Occupational Therapists in the assessment and treatment of compulsive hoarding: An exploratory study”. New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64 (2) 22-30.

Mataix-Cols D, et al. (2010) ‘Hoarding disorder: a new diagnosis for DSM-V?,’ Depression Anxiety, 27(1), pp. 556–572.

NHS Choices (2015) Hoarding Disorder. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hoarding-disorder/ (Accessed on 2nd December 2017).

NICE (2005) Obessive-compulsive disorder. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg31/evidence/cg31-obsessivecompulsive-disorder-full-guideline2 (Accessed on 22nd February).

Pertusa A, et al. ‘Refining the diagnostic boundaries of compulsive hoarding: a critical review,’ Clinical Psychology Review, 30(1), pp. 371–386.

Polkinghorne, D.E. (1989) ‘Phenomenological research methods,’ In R.S Valle and S. Halling (Eds.), Existential phenomenological perspectives in psychology. New York, NY: Plenum Press, pp.41-60.

Royal College of Psychiatrists (2016) Hoarding. Available at: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsanddisorders/hoarding.aspx (Accessed on 2nd December 2017).

Samuels J.F. et al. (2008) ‘Prevalence and correlates of hoarding behavior in a community-based sample,’ Behav Res Ther, 46(1), pp. 836–844.

Saxena S. (2008) ‘Neurobiology and treatment of compulsive hoarding,’ CNS Spectrum, 13(14), pp. 29–36.

Soares, C., Fernandes, N., and Morgado, P. (2016) ‘A review of pharmacologic treatment for compulsive buying disorder,’ CNS Drugs 30(4) pp. 281–91.

Steketee, G., and Frost, R. O. (2014) Compulsive hoarding and acquiring: Therapist guide. 2nd edn. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Tolin, D.F., Frost, R.O., and Steketee, G. (2014) Buried in Treasures. Help for Complusive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tolin D.F. et al. (2015) ‘Cognitive behavioral therapy for hoarding disorder: a meta-analysis,’ Depression Anxiety, 32(3), pp. 158–66.

Vilaverde, D., Gonçalves, J., and Morgado, P. (2017) ‘Hoarding Disorder: A Case Report,’ Frontiers in Psychiatry. Available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00112/full (Accessed on 10th November 2017).

Post Chat

Chat Host: Orla Hughes @Orlatheot

On the #OTalk Account: Kelly @otonthetracks

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript May 22nd 2018

The Numbers

900.755K Impressions
329 Tweets
34 Participants
263 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


15th May – Working Work into the OT Pathway.

@RCOT_work will host this weeks #Otalk

Occupational Therapists facilitate an individual’s journey to meet the goals meaningful to them. Meaning is defined by the individual, as is the meaning of work which could also mean different things to different people across their life course. This is a particularly pertinent topic with recent changes in the benefits systems, the introduction of the Government’s Work and Health Agenda, changes in the Access to Work funding opportunities, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) OT champions and response to the Work and Health Agenda and 

Engagement in work includes engagement in learning, training and education, voluntary work, paid work, part time work, flexible working and crucially it is not an exclusive goal, as for many this may also involve the balance of personal lives, commitments and enduring health conditions. Occupational Therapists are well placed to facilitate the goal of returning to work, but also the maintenance of work. The purpose of this OTalk is to discuss about what is known about using work as a goal within practice, for Occupational Therapists who work exclusively in Vocational Rehabilitation to share their knowledge and give advice about resources to use in practice, and to ask questions to the wider OT community to find out what you want to know about how OT’s can engage with the work question, what would you like to learn from research in this area.

Questions that will lead the discussion are: 

  1. What does work as an outcome mean within the OT journey?
  2. Have you used work as a goal within practice, and if so in which setting do you work in? 
  3. What would be helpful for you to incorporate work (as an outcome) into your client/patient journey?
  4. Are there particular research questions that would help you frame your practice? 
  5. Final thoughts, any additional resources you would like to share. 

The RCOT Specialist Section for work will facilitate this OTalk and we hope that information shared within this discussion allows participants to ask the work question, and also for us to gain understanding as to what the wider OT community wish to know about work. 


Hosting Chat @RCOT_work

#Otalk admin team was Caroline @colourful_ot

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript May 15th 2018

The Numbers

511.333K Impressions
214 Tweets
34 Participants
171 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants




#OTalk 8th May 2018 – Podcasts as a Tool for CPD

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Podcasts as a Tool for Continuing Professional Development” and will be hosted by Stephanie Lancaster (@TheOutLoudOT).

Stephanie Lancaster has practiced as an OT for over 25 years.  She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Stephanie blogs at www.stephanielancaster.com and hosts a podcast for people interested in OT called On The air (www.OnTheAir.us). She is currently pursuing a doctorate in education in the field of Instructional Design & Technology and is writing a dissertation on the impact of podcasting on the education and growth of occupational therapy students.

Here is what Stephanie had to say… A podcast is generally described as a series of digital audio files that can be accessed online and downloaded and listened to on an electronic device. The term podcast was coined in 2004 by British journalist Ben Hammersley through a combination of the words iPod and broadcast.  Since that time, podcast carriers such as iTunes have helped to propel this type of media file into popularity, with millions of downloads and live or on-demand daily across the globe. Podcasting has begun to be explored in formal education settings as an educational technology tool that has been used at an increased frequency in recent years for a variety of reasons. The range, flexibility, ease of use, accessibility, and affordability (most podcasts can be accessed for free) of podcasts make this medium a viable platform for learning not just for students but also for individuals seeking professional development, including occupational therapy practitioners. With a variety of learning opportunities available through listening to podcasts, this technology opens up options for learning about a wide variety of topics related to the practice of occupational therapy.

Questions for the OTalk Chat:

Q1: How often do you listen to podcasts?

Q2: What do you see as the benefits of listening to podcasts?

Q3: Do you feel that listening to podcasts helps you to learn and grow professionally?

Q4: How often you reflect on, think about, and/or talk about things you have heard on podcasts after you listen?

Q5: What podcast and/or podcast episode do you recommend that others in the field of OT listen to and why?

Post Chat

Chat Host: Stephanie Lancaster @TheOutLoudOT

On the #OTalk Account: @helenotuk

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript May 8th 2018

The Numbers

514.598K Impressions
219 Tweets
29 Participants
175 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants