#OTalk Research Chat – Tuesday 5th July 2022 – Quality Improvement (QI) versus Research – which approach for which Occupational Therapy question?

This #OTalk Research Chat will be hosted by Anya de longh @anyadei with Beverley Turtle @bevaturtle on the #OTalk account

Quality improvement (QI) and research both contribute to our knowledge and understanding and are a key aspect of occupational therapy practice. While providing different routes to healthcare improvement, I am struck by their complementary principles and the opportunities they both pose for skill development.  However there is much debate about the differences in their methodologies and approaches too.  So, I felt it would be a good topic for a #OTalk, to hear from other occupational therapists, researchers, and improvers about how they see these two approaches and use them in their practice. 

From my experience, QI often feels more accessible, and something that you can really get your teeth into. While those skills necessary for QI lend themselves well to research and can lead to the development of research questions, making that step from a QI project to a research project can feel like such a large leap! 

While we may be aware of the differences between QI and research, how confident are we in which is better suited to a particular situation? And as ever, how do we translate both into practice? 

I don’t have all the answers, but I know that the hive mind and brilliance of the occupational therapists joining #OTalk will help! But equally, if you are unfamiliar with the topic like me, come and join anyway and learn with me! 

If it helps, here are a few useful links about the differences and strengths of each approach: 

– A short (less than 5 min!) video from the Chief Quality Office at ELFT on the difference between quality improvement and research


– For those of you who prefer a colourful diagram, or written prose, try Fig 1. In this BMJ paper… (Backhouse & Ogunlayi, 2020) 


The questions we will be discussing during this #OTalk are:

1. What do you understand as the difference between QI and research? 

2. Why does this difference matter?! 

3. What areas might you find QI more helpful than research approaches in your clinical/professional practice? 

4. What areas might you find research more helpful than QI approaches in your clinical/professional practice?

5. What QI developments have you led on, or been part of, and has this led to research? 

Post Chat

Host:  Anya De Longh @anyadei

Support on OTalk Account: Beverley Turtle @bevaturtle

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • 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.

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