#OTalk Research 3th Sep 2019 A Contemporary Assessment of Occupational Therapy Research 2019

This weeks OTalk Research will be hosted by @CAOT2019

Research has to start somewhere.

Occupational Therapy like many AHP professions is a challenging area to start a research journey within. This talk aims to look at where people get their ideas for research from, as well as the overall process of making their research a reality.

Do you have experience of conducting Occupational Therapy research? Or is it something you would like to do in the future? If this is you, join Diane and Annie from Sheffield Hallam University (@CAOT2019) in next week’s #OTalkResearch! This is a chance for you to share your views on the practicalities of conducting Occupational Therapy research. So, with that in mind, here’s what we’ll be discussing:

1.       Research has to start somewhere.  A lot of OT knowledge is in people’s heads.  What kind of things are you investigating?

2.       How do you pursue this activity/knowledge and make it into research?

3.       Do you do this in your own time or do you get work time?

4.       Have you thought about how you could translate this work into something badged as research?

5.       What areas of OT practice don’t fit into conventional research practice?

This #OTalk Research chat forms part of a larger project conducted by Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of RCOT entitled A Contemporary Assessment of Occupational Therapy Research. The project will map the current position of contemporary occupational therapy research across the UK.

In addition to the OTalk If you have completed OT research since 2014 or are currently working on an on-going OT research we would like to hear from you via this survey link:


Please note this is a separate project to the one undertaken by RCOT and the James Lind Association.

Post Chat Updates:

Online transcript from Healthcare Hashtags

PDF of transcript: #OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript September 3rd 2019

The Numbers

1.099M Impressions
262 Tweets
60 Participants

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 27th Aug 2019 – Evidence based practice and approaches to intervention.

This week  Jamie Cardell @OTJme, Becca Shelton @BeccasheltonOT, and Lyndsay Court @LyndsaycourtOT, will be hosting the chat is what they had to say:

The three of us are excited to be hosting our first OTalk on Tuesday 27th Aug. We have recently attended a CO-OP training course and this has sparked a lot of debate within our Paediatric Occupational Therapy team about evidenced based practice and top down Vs bottom up approaches.

Collectively we are trained in Sensory Integration and Bobath (NDT). These approaches have informed a lot of our practice, however with our recent CO-OP training and evidence in the Novak (2019) systematic review we have begun to question the use of these approaches in practice and wonder whether we are truly providing evidence based interventions to our clients. The Novak (2019) paper highlighted that NDT and SI were in the red/do not do interventions, whereas task/goal focused interventions I.E. CO-OP are green and definitely do. There is a suggestion that Occupational Therapy practice can lag 20 years behind the research; we are therefore keen to gain further insight into how other Occupational Therapists are using these approaches and what implications the Novak (2019) research paper has for future practice.

Questions that will be asked during the chat include:

  1. What top down and bottom up approaches are you currently using within your settings?
  2. What are your thoughts on top down versus bottom up approaches in Occupational Therapy and how effective do you find these?
  3. Has the Novak (2019) systematic review changed your practice or thoughts about using approaches such as Ayres Sensory Integration and Bobath for certain client groups?
  4. How do you stay up to date with the latest evidence and how do you apply this evidence to practice?

@OTJme,  @BeccasheltonOT, @LyndsaycourtOT


Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript August 27th 2019

The Numbers

906.018K Impressions
173 Tweets
22 Participants
138 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants





#OTalk Tuesday 20th August 2019. Do Occupational Therapist routinely assess clients menstrual cycle, it’s affect on functioning and ability to manage? engagement in occupations?

This weeks Rachel @OT_rach from OTalk is hosting the chat this is what she has to say,

I have recently listened to an audiobook call ‘Period Power’ by Melissa Hill.

The introduction starts with the following.
In my profession as a woman’s health specialist I get asked a lot of questions, questions that my clients have had since they were 13 that they still don’t have an answer for in their 30s. Questions that usually begin with why, such as

Why is my period so painful/short/light/long/heavy?
Why are they so frequent/irregular/rare?
Why have they stopped altogether?
Why do I feel so great one week and so bloody awful the next?
Why is my vagina sore dry/wet/sensitive?
Why does sex hurt sometimes/all the time?
Why don’t I want to have sex?
Why am I so horny?
Why am I so goddamn tired all the time?
Why do I get so bloated that my dress size jumps up two sizes?
Why do I feel anxious/stressed/depressed?
Why am I so full of rage.
The answer to all of these questions is it’s your hormones. ‘

In another chapter she goes on to describe.

Follicular Phase: Menstruation to Ovulation.
Your period and your cycle are a reflection of your overall health and can be affected by little and large life events. Those gallons of wine and platefuls of delicious stinky cheesy cheese you devoured over Christmas, the crazy work project that nearly broke you, the relationship issues that keep you up all night, the death of a loved one, weight gain or loss, travelling, finally quitting smoking, the supplements you been taking, the Yoga class you’ve been going to, the new job that you love, the great sex you’ve been having, – they all have an impact on whether your period is early or late, light or heavy, short or long and painful or pleasurable.

Period Power – Maisie Gill Greentree 2019

What struck me as I listen to this book was how a lot of what she described were occupations that we engage in, and it got me thinking, Do Occupational Therapists routinely assess clients menstrual cycle, it’s affect on functioning and ability to engage in occupations they need to or want to do?

As I listened I tweeted out some of my thinking, got some great responses and had some interesting discussions from the OT community. Including Katie Major @KatieCMajor, who kindly agree to co host this chat.

Below are some questions that I plan to ask during the chat on Tuesday to generate discussion.

Question 1) Do you routinely ask about, assess for or provide interventions relating to your clients menstrual cycle? If so please give examples.

Question 2) From your own experiences of having a menstrual cycle or from knowing someone that does, what impact does it have on engagement in occupations that you need to or want to do?

Question 3) What assessment tools could we use as occupational therapist to understand the impact a clients menstrual cycles may be having on their functioning?

Question 4) What are the possible interventions we could engage our clients in to enable them to manage the occupation of their dealing with their period?

Question 5) What are the possible interventions we could work on with clients to enable them to manage and understand the impact of the menstrual cycle on their ability to engage in occupations?

Loving forward to the chat, Rachel



Host Rachel Booth @OT_rach

Support on OTalk about @helenotuk

Online transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript August 20th 2019

The Numbers

1.310M Impressions
523 Tweets
54 Participants
21 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 13th August 2019 – Breaking the silence: involuntary childlessness in the occupational dark shadows

Alice Hortop @LaughingOT Senior Occupational Therapy Lecturer The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is hosting the weeks OTalk, here’s what she had to say.

According to the NHS (2017), 1 in 7 UK couples have trouble in conceiving a child. The charity Fertility Network UK (2019) disputes the NHS figure as an underestimation and proposes a more realistic figure is 1 in 6, equating to infertility affecting 3.5 million people in the UK. The World Health Organisation (WHO, 2019) state that female infertility is graded the 5th greatest, serious global disability in populations under 60. They describe infertility as a disease, a medical condition and disability, which means access to healthcare in relation to infertility, sits under the ‘Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability’. In addition, Schmidt (2010) refers to infertility as a ‘social situation’; moving beyond the WHO medicalised definition. Childlessness is a major life theme deemed as a chronic stressor associated with low control and long lasting negative social and psychological consequences (Schmidt, 2010). Zandi et al (2017) support the need for health care to treat infertility broadly beyond the ‘mere’ individual and biological dysfunction.

Child bearing is an expected transition into adulthood both socially and politically, imperative to humankind survival. For many the failed aspiration to establish a family is an intense, recurring, chronic sorrow for an intangible loss (Tufford, 2009). Involuntary childlessness associates with emotional problems with higher depression scores over a 2-year period with a greater tendency towards catastrophizing. Both men and women reveal higher levels of depressive symptoms, women report highest levels (Kraaij, Garnefski and Vlietstra, 2008). 42% of people experiencing infertility describe feeling suicidal with 90% sharing feeling of depression and describing their experiences as traumatic (Fertility Network UK, 2019). People try to access parenthood through alternative means such as adoption reported higher depressive symptoms than those who chose not to.

In order to understand the lived experience of people who are involuntarily childless it is useful to identify if there is a shared understanding of their needs by health professionals. If their needs are understood and further addressed appropriately. Half of 129 gynaecologists interviewed recommended offering psychological counselling to clients following unsuccessful fertility treatment (Wischmann, 2007). The majority (90%) of women in a post fertility treatment follow up survey felt psychological counselling ought to be offered, particularly at the point of stopping treatment (Hammarberg et al, 2001). Health professionals demonstrate a significant underestimation of psychological need and the timing of its delivery. Psychological counselling and infertility treatments dominate literature for the intervention options in health and social care. The author’s experience of failing to access IVF, fostering and adoption did not include any signposting or offers of talking therapies, even when actively sought. If the lived experience of childless people was more fully understood would signposting to charities such as Fertility Network UK be more prevalent. Fertility Network UK offer a support line, support groups and a downloadable ‘More to life’ self-help guide.

This section examines if the research is relevant to occupational therapists and if so how. Occupational therapists are concerned with the occupations that people engage with, the influence of occupations on their identity and their roles in their lives. Being unable to experience being a mother or father may influence the variety of occupations engaged with, the roles played in the individual’s life and occupational identity. Twinley (2013) discusses the dark side of occupation, advocating occupational therapists need to understand occupations in the shadows. Twinley (2013) suggests historically occupational therapists focussed on the positive influences of occupations on health and wellbeing. The background literature indicates involuntary childlessness strongly associates with grief, alienation and loss. She argues a need for exploration into occupations not considered beneficial for health and wellbeing, that if understood would enable working effectively with diverse populations. Or in this case occupations associated with parenthood that are missing that need to be understood to realise their effect on health and wellbeing. This begins with understanding the lived experience of people who are involuntarily childless.

The host hopes to share insights into the lived experience of involuntary childlessness on people’s roles, occupational identity and occupational engagement. The profession needs to consider their role in addressing childlessness in their interactions, therapeutically and practically.

Post chat updates:

Online transcript Healthcare Hashtags Transcript

PDF Transcript #OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript August 13th 2019

The Numbers


#OTalk Participants


Davidson, S. (2016) Factsheet: Employment Issues [online] available at: http://fertilitynetworkuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Employment-Issues.pdf (accessed on 02/03/2019)

Hammarberg, K., Astbury, J. and Baker, H. (2001) Women’s experience of IVF: a follow-up study. Human Reproduction, 16, pp 374-383

Kraaij, V. Garnefski, N. and Vlietstra, A. (2008) Cognitive coping and depressive symptoms in definitive infertility: A prospective study. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 29 (1) pp 9 -16

NHS (2017) Overview infertility. [online] available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Infertility/ (accessed 6/10/2018)

Schmidt, L. (2010) Psychological consequences of infertility and treatment. In: Carrell, D. and Peterson, M. (eds) Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Switzerland: SpringerLink pp 93-100.

Tufford, L. (2009) Healing the pain of infertility through poetry, Journal of Poetry Therapy, 22 (1), pp 1-9

Twinley, R. (2013) The dark side of occupation: A concept for consideration. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60, pp 301-303

Wischmann, T., (2009) Implications of psychosocial support in infertility-a critical appraisal. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 29 (2), pp 83-90

Zandi, M., Mohammadi, E., Vanaki, Z., Shiva, M., Lankarani, N. and Zarei, F. (2017) Confronting infertility in Iranina clients: a grounded theory. Human Fertility, 20 (4), pp 236-247