#OTalk 4th September 2018 – Creating a vibrant occupational therapy research community – the way forward?

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Creating a vibrant occupational therapy research community” and will be hosted by The Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Gillian Ward (@TheRCOT and @DrGillianWard).

This is the second chat hosted by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.  The aim is to feed into the Research and Development Review being undertaken to create a new RCOT vision, strategy and action plan for research and development that is fit to guide the profession’s progress and direction of travel over the next 10 years.

The Review was launched in June 2017 and over the last year there has been a series of listening events and consultations across the country, including all 4 nations, with a wide variety of occupational therapists including; clinical staff, academics, researchers, service managers, consultant occupational therapists, post-graduate research students, specialist section R&D leads and RCOT staff.

RCOThave heard a lot about barriers and obstacles to engaging in and with research and are keen to turn this around to focus on what is working for folk; what are the small (or large) changes that have gained traction and moved things beyond ‘problem’ towards ‘solution’. One of the key themes emerging from the R&D Review and a discussion point with several contributors was a real need to invest in building the occupational therapy research community and network, with the Royal College taking a strong lead in doing this for the profession. Currently, there is no opportunity for occupational therapy researchers to come together to develop a community of practice to share their passion for research and learn how to do it better.

This is where we need your help, and that’s what we’d like to chat with you about during tonight’s #OTalk.  The questions forming the basis of our discussion are:

  1. What are the important ingredients in creating and sustaining a vibrant research culture?
  2. What networks and collaborations are important to cultivate to underpin and facilitate a culture of research?
  3. Thinking on a national level, what would a vibrant research community look like and feel like to be part of?
  4. How can RCOT help to build the occupational therapy research community and network (making no promisesJ)?
  5. What are the most effective ways to capture and evaluate the impact of an emerging research community?

We are really looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas, which will be a very welcome contribution to the development of the R&D Strategy. If you get a chance ahead of the #OTalk session, it would be really helpful if you could give some thought to the ingredients that create a good environment to support occupational therapists’ engagement in and with research and how we could develop the occupational therapy research community.

We’d really love to hear all of the creative ideas that you can come up with as we move into the development phase of the RCOT R&D Strategy.


Chat host:  The Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Gillian Ward (@TheRCOT and @DrGillianWard).

On the @OTalk Account:

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript September 4th 2018

The Numbers

1.395M Impressions
450 Tweets
34 Participants
360 Avg Tweets/Hour
13 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 28th August 2018 – Occupational Therapy and the Creative Arts

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of “the creative arts within OT” and will be hosted by Corinna Keaney (@CKeaneyOTservices, Marie Baistow (@MrsBaistow) and Orla Hughes (@OrlaTheOT).

Here is what they had to say…

Corinna, Marie, and Orla are hosting this week’s OTalk exploring how the creative arts are used in occupational therapy practice. They have personal and professional experience of seeing how occupations such as music, art, drama, dance, creative writing (the list goes on) can boost people’s physical and mental well-being. As a result, this OTalk would aim to discuss and evaluate how creative arts are currently being used in occupational therapy practice. We hope you can join the discussion and share your experiences.

Questions that will be discussed:

  1. What’s your favourite work of art? It can be a song, a painting, a dance, a film, etc… Please share it in the comments and tell us why it’s your favourite.
  2. What are the benefits of the creative arts as a therapeutic tool?
  3. What are your experiences of using the creative arts in occupational therapy practice?
  4. What are the challenges of using creative arts in practice?
  5. Do you feel occupational therapy and the creative arts is evidence based practice? Link any interesting research you’ve read around the topic.

Post Chat

Chat hosted by Corinna Keaney (@CKeaneyOTservices, Marie Baistow (@MrsBaistow) and Orla Hughes (@OrlaTheOT).

On the @otalk_ account @OT_rach

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript August 28th 2018

The Numbers

621.434K Impressions
255 Tweets
37 Participants
204 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk 21st August 2018 – Influencing Equipment Provision, It’s within our gift.

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Equipment Provision” and will be hosted by Adam Ferry (@AdamFerry3). This chat is one in a series of chats being hosted in collaboration with the OT Show (@TheOTshow).

Here is what Adam had to say…

The experience of equipment exhibitions for many Occupational Therapists working within the public sector (NHS/Local Authority) is likely to have been similar to my own.  The relatively undirected amblings of someone looking longingly at equipment they know will never be available to them.

That was certainly my experience some years ago until I dipped my toe into the private sector.  From that point exhibitions became a lot more interesting as I understood that my awareness and understanding of the market played a critical role in ensuring recommendations within that sector were current, accurate and exhaustive.

For this reason I can understand, based on my experiences, why manufactures/providers of healthcare products often appear to focus more on the private market and indeed why whilst making my way through exhibitions I hear Occupational Therapists saying to the exhibitor “sorry, I work in the NHS”.

However, working in both statutory and private services concurrently has afforded me opportunity to both expand my product knowledge and influence decision makers within the former.

At The OT Show 2017 I was shown a moving & handling product, a non-mechanised standing aid, very similar to a popular but more expensive model often used by my Occupational Therapy team.  The product we had been requisitioning in increasingly high numbers needed to be approved by a weekly clinical panel based on clinical reasoning and availability of reconditioned alternatives but was reducing significantly the need for mechanical standing hoists which were currently a standard stock item.  The approval process and subsequent ordering meant that clients were often waiting for 2-3 weeks for this piece of equipment with hospital discharges managed with alternatives that were not ideal.

On discussion with the exhibitor some recommendations were made for minor alterations to the product that would make it more flexible within the home environments we work in.  We discussed costs per unit and availability of stock.  Based on reduction of mechanical stand-aid provision and the lower cost of this new product I felt able to build a business case that suggested its inclusion as a standard stock item off-set by making the mechanical device a ‘special’ requiring panel approval.

This business case was approved, the equipment trialed and has now been ordered in bulk as a standard equipment store item.

My personal experience demonstrates how Occupational Therapists use of an exhibition is not dependent on which sector you work in but more about mind-set.  Wherever we work we are the expert in our clients and their needs.  Equipment providers need us to tell them what we need, so be brave and take control.

Exhibitors also need to take ownership; engage Occupational Therapists from every sector.  I may have ordered 1-12 of these products a year in my private sector role but have just influenced the order of more than 30.

Tell exhibitors what we need so that they can go and find or design it; that makes an exhibition a true collaboration of expertise.

So lets start a revolution and have the equipment our clients need on the approved list, not what is cheapest or what a non-clinical manager tells us we need.

Chat Objectives:

  • Participants will reflect on their potential impact on commissioning of equipment.
  • Acknowledge skills and demand for specialist knowledge within manufacturing & design.
  • Reflect on our use of exhibitions as a ‘2 way street’.
  • Develop an understanding of how we can influence change, both in design and procurement.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What do you want to get out of an OT conference exhibition?
  2. Is there a difference in mind set between private & statutory sector OTs within an exhibition?
  3. Have you had any experiences of influencing change to equipment procurement?
  4. What do you think that exhibitors want from us?
  5. Describe your perfect conference exhibition. How would it be different?

Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting news coming soon from The OTalk Team & The OT Show!

Post Chat

Chat host @AdamFerry3

On the #OTalk account @helenotuk

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript August 21st 2018

The Numbers

293.969K Impressions
148 Tweets
15 Participants
118 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 14th August 2018 – Meaningful Occupation in Dementia.

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Meaningful Occupation in Dementia” and will be hosted by Mary Mulry (@murlymary).

Here is what Mary had to say…

Dementia is a syndrome characterised by deterioration in memory and cognitive functions. Dementia is progressive in nature with the focus of treatment being to delay further memory/cognitive decline and enhance the older adult’s quality of life. There are many therapies well researched in this area e.g. cognitive stimulation therapy (Spector et al, 2013), sonas apc (Connors, 2000), doll therapy, reminiscence therapy, errorless learning etc. However, despite all of this research, older adults with dementia are engaging in activities with little meaning to them and these activities are not reflecting their life experiences. The aim of this OTalk is to explore this area of meaningful occupation with the dementia population in more detail.

The following are the main aims to consider during the OTalk:

  • Define occupation and identify what is meaningful occupation.
  • Understanding the significance of meaningful occupation with the older adult with dementia.
  • Understanding the importance of gathering information about the older adult with dementia in order to empower them to engage in meaningful occupation.
  • Identify the barriers and facilitators in Occupational Therapists carrying out occupation-focused therapy.
  • Explore risk management in relation to enablement


Hosting the chat @MulryMary.

On the #Otalk account @kirstieot

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript August 14th 2018

The Numbers

1.294M Impressions
350 Tweets
51 Participants
14 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk Research 7th August 2018 – Creative approaches to communicating research.

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Creative approaches to communicating research” and will be hosted by Lynne Goodacre (@lynnegoodacre).

Here is what Lynne had to say…

“So, tell me about your research”, is a question which many researchers dread being asked. Why? Because it is a real challenge to condense something like a doctoral study into a short accessible format. It is also a question which may be asked with a degree of trepidation due to the often lengthy and complicated answer which may follow.

Being able to ‘bottom line’ your research and communicate with excitement and passion to a non-specialist audience is an essential skill for researchers. This is highlighted by its identification as a core skill in the VITAE Researcher Development Framework.

To truly engage people with our work there is a need for researchers to think creatively about how we communicate their work with a level of clarity which makes it accessible to all. Being able to write academic articles and give excellent Power Point presentations are no longer the sole communication skills required by researchers. Blogging, videos, vlogging, podcasts, animation are now mainstream forms of communicating research.

As part of this years Royal College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Network organised a 3 minute challenge which challenged researchers to communicate their research in 3 minutes in as creative a way as possible without the use of slides. It was a great event and illustrated how creative approaches can truly engage an audience.

Building on this event this months OTalk Research will explore the following questions:

  1. Why is it important to develop a range of approaches to communicate research?
  2. If you think across all areas of research and broadcast media who would you flag up currently as great communicators of research and why?
  3. What is the most creative way you have either communicated your research or seen research communicated?
  4. What are the challenge of communicating research to non-specialist audiences
  5. Other than powerpoint and writing academic articles what do you think are great communication skills for researchers to develop?
  6. What resources have you discovered or do you use to communicate research which may be of interest to others.


VITAE Researcher Development Framework https://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers-professional-development/about-the-vitae-researcher-development-framework

Post chat

Chat host – @LynneGoodacre

Support on the #OTalk account – @hooper_ek

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript August 7th 2018

The Numbers

1.189M Impressions
301 Tweets
24 Participants
241 Avg Tweets/Hour
13 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants