Blog Posts

OTalk

#OTalk Tuesday 3rd August 2021 8 – 9pm (British Summer Time) Harnessing the occupational therapy evidence based for the benefit of European citizens

This month’s #OTalk research chat will be hosted by Board members from the Research into Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science (ROTOS) Foundation: Professor Alison Laver-Fawcett @alsionlaverfaw, is Chair of ROTOS and an educator and researcher at York St John University, York, UK @YSJOT; and Sasa Radic, @Sasa_Radic, is Communications Lead for ROTOS, a Croatian occupational therapist and president of the Croatian Association of Occupational Therapists. Sasa will be tweeting from the @_ROTOS_ twitter account. 

The Research into Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science (ROTOS) Foundation https://www.rotosfoundation.eu/ @_ROTOS_ was founded on 11th March 2020, after being developed through an Occupational Therapy Europe standing committee (from 2017). ROTOS now forms one branch of Occupational Therapy Europe Foundation (https://www.oteurope.eu/) along with the Council of Occupational Therapists for the European Countries (COTEC) and the European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education (ENOTHE). The ROTOS Foundation is a registered charity in the Netherlands. The ROTOS Board currently comprises six members.  

ROTOS’s Vision is to improve European citizens’ lives through occupation centred research and science, by having one strong voice for occupational therapy and occupational science research. We aim that knowledge from Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science research will be appropriately used to inform and shape European policy and practice, through the establishment of a strong European profile of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science researchers, that both strengthens occupation-centred knowledge generation and supports access to this knowledge for the benefit for all Europeans. To achieve this a strategic three-year action plan has been developed. 

  • Strategic aim 1: Establish occupation as powerful knowledge domain 

To use current research and evidence, and supporting development of further research, by bringing together established researchers and encouraging a strong voice regarding Occupational Therapy research at all levels. 

  • Strategic aim 2: Use occupational therapy and occupational science research outcomes for advocacy and to influence policy development.
    To develop research leaders confident in promoting the outcomes of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Science and interdisciplinary occupation-centred research as beneficial to the lives and occupational wellbeing of individuals and communities. 

  • Strategic aim 3: To build strong collaborations to achieve the ROTOS Foundation’s vision. 

To achieve a sustainable ROTOS Foundation and create a strong research community linking researchers to practitioners, educators and other researchers, through facilitating working across boundaries in the European context.

There are several ways colleagues can get involved with ROTOS:

  • Join the ROTOS network
  • Contribute to a ROTOS webinar
  • Support writing documents (evidence base summary, call to maximising the impact of occupational therapy and occupational science research, translating research knowledge into practice). 
  • Mentor occupational therapy and occupational science researchers in Europe
  • Help identify priorities for occupational therapy and occupational science research and pedagogical research in Europe
  • Contribute to leadership for occupational therapy and occupational science research
  • Engage in fundraising activities to support ROTOS projects and actions

We look forward to exploring this vision and aim with others in the OTalk chat, hearing people’s thoughts, ideas and examples of occupational therapy research and occupational science research has influenced policy development, informed guidelines, and led to service development and improvement. In this #OTalk we will seek your ideas and contributions for achieving ROTOS’ vision and aims, and discuss how occupational therapy researchers and occupational science researchers can get involved with ROTOS activities.  

Some Questions to reflect on:

  1. How can we increase the accessibility of the occupational therapy and occupational science evidence base for people with disabilities & health conditions, policy makers, service commissioners & the wider population?
  2. How can we most effectively use occupational therapy and occupational science research to influence policy development?
  3. What are the key components of an effective evidence base summary document?
  1. A few research priority exercises have been done recently, e.g. @thewfot https://wfot.org/resources/wfot-research-priorities & @theRCOT https://www.rcot.co.uk/top-10, do you think there are different OT & OS research priorities across Europe?
  2. What do you think are the key occupational therapy and occupational science research priorities?
  1. What skills, knowledge and attributes make effective occupational therapy and occupational science research leaders? How are these developed?
  2. Have you received or offered mentorship related to occupational therapy and occupational science research? How was this organised? Was it useful?
  3. What should a @_ROTOS_ European occupational therapy & occupational science research mentorship programme provide?
  4. @_ROTOS_ has already delivered a webinar and plans future ones, what would you like to see ROTOS provide webinars about?
  5. @_ROTOS_ is a charity and must raise its own funds, what ideas do you have for effective fundraising activities?

You can contact ROTOS Board members using the form at:

https://www.rotosfoundation.eu/contact-us/ or email Alison at: alison.laver-fawcett@rotos.eu

OTalk

#OTalk Tuesday 27th July @AbleOTUK Launch Event – Choose either the #OTalk chat or join our live Teams event.

This Tuesday is very exciting @OTalk_ are pleased to use its platform to help launch a new OT affiliation group @AbleOTUK, just in time for the end of this years #DisabilityPrideMonth.  Here is what @OTableOTUK have to say…….

We @AbleOTUK are excited about our Launch, there has been lots of work behind the senses and we can’t wait to get started. For our launch we have two options for you to engage in, simultaneously, 8pm Tuesday 27th July.

  • Live Teams Event that will have a slideshow, and members sharing their experiences.  (Requires Booking 100 free spaces available.)
  • A Traditional #OTalk focusing on Accessibility and Disability (Questions below) Both events will be available to watch/read after the launch.

We are a core group of volunteer Occupational Therapists and a patient advocate who run and maintain @AbleOTUK twitter account and soon to be coming website. We hope in the very near future to run some online events, provide useful resources, create supportive networks and work with other stakeholders, please see our terms of reference below, for more detail. You can download the a copy of the groups frame of reference below. (There are three visions available, if your needs are not meet, please let us know and we will endeavour to create the document in a formate that suits your needs.)

July is #DisabilityPrideMonth one of our members @GeorgiaVineOT ask the OT community with disabilities and or health problems, to tweet something they would like the rest of the community to think about. These “Dear OT Community” tweets have been made it to a video

Those with disabilities are the largest & most diverse minority within the worlds population, they represent all abilities, ages, races, ethnicities, religions and Social Economic Background.  In order to grow, as a profession, we must first recognise that there’s a problem. These events are an opportunity to share your experiences and/or learn from others.  Everyone is welcome,  we are really excited about our launch, and can’t wait to hear from the OTalk community.  https://youtu.be/TSeQAO7z1io

Question 1 – What is your understanding of disability and how this might impact a person?

Question 2 – What is your understanding of accessibility and how it might impact a person?

Question 3 – In regards to disability and accessibility, what barriers have you come across, either when working with a client, or for your own needs?

Question 4 – What and how can we as an OT profession, RCOT and AbleOTUK do to remove the barriers?

Post Chat

What a great launch @AbleOTUKwould like to thank OTalk for hosting us, and to everyone that joined in, gave their support and help.

Below is a PDF of the Twitter Transcript, along with statictics showing what engaged and what Impressions where made on twitter.

Under that information, is a link from @AbleOTuk’s Youtube account, with a video of the launch teams event (apologise its not the best there were tech issues so it was filmed on a phone)

If you have any questions, would like to assess support, and or information from AbleOTUK. Please contact them these ways.

We have a closed group on discord, you can request to join.

The Numbers

2.258M Impressions
535 Tweets
95 Participants
9 Avg Tweets/Hour
6 Avg Tweets/Participant 

OTalk

#OTalk – 20th July – Sustainable Occupational Therapy Practice

This week’s chat will be hosted by Ben Whittaker from Occupational Therapy Susnet @OTSusnet, AHP lead at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare @SusHealthcare and a mental health occupational therapist, and Sonia Roschnik, (also tweeting from @OTSusnet) International Climate Policy Director at Healthcare Without Harm @HCWHeurope @HCWHGlobal and a former occupational therapist.   

Sustainable occupational therapy practice means using resources to deliver healthcare today without compromising the health of current or future generations.  The climate emergency is a health emergency, and as a result, addressing climate change has been described as the greatest health opportunity this century.  

The NHS is the largest employer in Britain and responsible for around 4% of our carbon emissions.  The NHS needs to act for the UK to meet its legally binding 2008 Climate Change Act.  Sustainability is written into the NHS constitution and recently, the NHS has made the formal commitment to become net zero by 2040, with the @GreenerNHS programme.  

Sustainability will be integral to the next national AHP strategy.  Many AHPs, including occupational therapists, are professions that utilise sustainable models of care and a shortage of AHPs could be described as a contributing factor to current high carbon care.  

Sustainability is a Master Project for the WFOT.  In 2012, WFOT stated that Occupational therapists need to “re-evaluate practice models and expand clinical reasoning about occupational performance to include sustainable practice.”  In 2018, WFOT published Sustainability Matters which detailed five sustainability guiding principles.  RCOT have stated that these guiding principles need incorporating into UK curricula and cited them in the RCOT professional standards and code of ethics. 

Sustainable Quality Improvement (SusQI) methodology joins carbon reduction to the core aim of providing the best possible healthcare. WFOT’s QUEST strategy includes sustainability as one of the seven quality indicators applicable to all settings for occupational therapy practice.  

In order for occupational therapy practice to be sustainable it needs to address the triple bottom line of social, economic and environmental agendas, which are interdependent.  The examples of social and economic benefits in RCOT’s Improving Lives, Saving Money campaign also reduce carbon and bring environmental benefits.  

Unsustainable human occupations are driving climate change and occupational therapists have a chance to address this outside of traditional healthcare settings. We can work as behaviour change specialists in council sustainability teams or charities by using occupational therapy approaches with a ‘well’ population that want to address sustainable living goals.  For example, by using Green Lifestyle Redesign: https://networks.sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/networks/ot-susnet/creating-sustainable-lifestyle

We look forward to exploring the above areas with others in the OTalk chat, hearing people’s thoughts, ideas and examples of sustainable practice.  

Questions from the WFOT’s Sustainability Guiding Principles: 

Principle 1: Understanding sustainability 

Q1. What skills do you need to learn at this point to help you work more successfully with individuals and communities to help them reflect about sustainability of their actions as they choose and participate in meaningful occupations?

Principle 2: Mitigation of environmental damage due to unsustainable lifestyles

Q2. What could you do as an individual to help reduce the carbon footprint within your practice setting?

Principle 3: Helping service users adapt to the consequences of environmental damage

Q3. How can you help people in the community (individually or in groups) develop skills in and use of their pADLs to advocate for themselves so that they can access resources needed to adapt to the adverse consequences of climate change?

Principle 4: Community sustainability

Q4. What might you include in an education program for small groups in the community about sustainability and its relationship to daily occupational performance?

Principle 5: Developing professional competence

Q5. What kind of educational support do you need in order to become competent in contributing to sustainability in your practice and how should this support be provided?

References

Whittaker B & Roschnik S (2020) A Greener Future. OTnews, 28(11), 24-27 

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (2012) Position statement on environmental sustainability, sustainable practice within occupational therapy. Forrestfield, Au: WFOT.

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (2018) Sustainability Matters: Guiding Principles for Sustainability in Occupational Therapy Practice, Education and Scholarship.  

Websites

CSH Networks (including Occupational Therapy Susnet): https://networks.sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/

Greener NHS: https://www.england.nhs.uk/greenernhs/

Health Care without Harm: https://noharm-europe.org/

Post Chat

Link to Sustainable Occupational Therapy Practice Resource Map

The Numbers

2.506M Impressions
357 Tweets
22 Participants
16 Avg Tweets/Hour
16 Avg Tweets/Participant

OTalk

#OTalk – 13th July 2021 – #RCOT2021 Reflections

This #OTalk will discuss and reflect on the recent #RCOT2021 conference and will be hosted by @Kirstie_OT.

#RCOT2021has recently taken place over 30 June & 1st July. RCOT’s 44th annual conference, the first held virtually on an online platform, was attended by over 1500 people from across the UK and internationally, with representatives from some other countries OT professional bodies and from WFOT (@thewfot). The conference had 4 themes, chosen by members –

Equality, diversity and inclusion.

The impact of occupational therapy.

New ways of working.

Rehabilitation and recovery.

There were 80 abstracts/sessions and posters, 18 topic specific chat rooms, 10 RCOT insight sessions, 8 round table networking sessions, and seven keynote plenary sessions with nearly all the sessions available on demand for the next 6 months.

In his opening welcome to the conference @SteveGFord , CEO of @theRCOT, encouraged delegates to enjoy, debate, discuss, learn and grow as individuals and as a profession. Even if you didn’t go, there was opportunity to see or hear about some of the content and discussion reflected in tweets or what colleagues may have shared with you. So, let reflect together on it.

The questions we will be considering are

  1. Did you attend #RCOT2021? What influenced your choice?
  2. From what you saw of it/ heard of it/ contributed to it what was something that you gained?
  3. Conference had 4 official themes – from your experience of it so far was there anything that was the biggest focus?
  4. How will you apply what you gained from #RCOT2021?
  5. #RCOT2021 content will be available for 6 months (and tickets are still available to buy up to end of July), how will you use this resource?

Post Chat

The Numbers

1.990M Impressions

338 Tweets

45 Participants

14 Avg Tweets/Hour

8 Avg Tweets/Participant 

OTalk

#OTalk research chat – 6th July 2021 – “The Dream Team: what makes an excellent research team?”

This #OTalk research chat will be hosted by @REfLECTS_Study and @AlisonA13414330, with @preston_jenny on the #OTalk account.

Twitter handles for the Dream Team: 

@REfLECTS_Study, @YvonneCodd, @StapletonTadhg, @bevaturtle, @PatriciaMac16, @LoureneAbbi, @Feemo15, @AlisonA13414330

Twitter handles for the even Dreamier Team:

@CamilaQuel, @geo_fish93, @dr_epower, @traboccant

Recently, we had the absolute privilege of hosting a one-week, virtual, stroke bootcamp event for Allied Health Professionals from all over the UK and Ireland. The concept for the bootcamp arose from the preparatory training activities we had undertaken in preparation for delivery of our randomised controlled trial in mirror box therapy with sub-acute stroke patients – the @REfLECTS_Study.  We had benefitted from this training and were of the opinion that a similar intensive and immersive training programme would benefit other therapists working in the area of stroke rehabilitation.

Whilst we received many very positive comments throughout the week about the content of the bootcamp, we were not really prepared for the exceedingly complimentary comments about our @REfLECTS_Study team, including being labelled a ‘dream team’.  

This has led to much reflection about what makes a ‘dream team’ and whether we are deserving of that title? 

Our large team of 18 members comprises clinical and healthcare support staff, academics, researchers, technical and business support staff. The team began to develop 10 years ago and have been working together since then; firstly on a small scale pilot study and subsequently growing into a multi-centre, cross jurisdictional, RCT study team.  

We know our team ‘works’ but we hadn’t really stopped to considered why it works so well. 

When we carried out some debriefs after the event, the unanimous comment from all of the team members we spoke to was that the feeling of belonging to part of the team was considered important but that the support and encouragement team members had given each other during the week was truly valued. This included pushing each other out of comfort zones and challenging each other to embrace new activities.   This was commonplace as we were in a wholly new environment – delivering training in a TV studio and presenting live to camera. During the week of the bootcamp the team cohesiveness was evident with each individual drawing upon their own unique set of knowledge and skills to perform to the highest level. This cohesiveness was somehow transmitted across the virtual environment to the trainees at the other end side of the virtual screen. 

However, we also noted in our debriefing session that another team we were working with during the bootcamp gave us a tantalising glimpse into a further level of collegiality with respect to supporting individual research learning and performance. In fact, we began to somewhat jealously wish that we belonged to that team!  The team from @UTSPhysio, led by Dr David Kennedy (@traboccant) were conducting a series of focus groups on unilateral neglect during the week. As local collaborators, one of our team members joined each focus group session. We noted that at the end of each group, the team members actively sought feedback on their individual performance from the other team members in an attempt to develop their own skills, no matter how junior or senior their perceived position in the team.  In response, the other team members would gently suggest changes in approach or enhancements to individual performance which were all warmly and eagerly received. 

At risk of losing some of my own team members to Australia, as lead of the @REfLECTS_Study group, it has propelled me into reflecting upon what makes a (clinically focused) research team excellent? 

Questions to debate during the OTalk hour:

  1. What are your experiences of working within (or alongside) a clinical research team? 
  2. What factors do you think facilitate clinical research team cohesion? 
  3. What barriers can be encountered by working within a clinical research team and how can they be overcome? 
  4. What actions do you think the team leader can take to support each team member enhance their own performance within the team? 
  5. What actions can the individual team member take to develop their team performance? 
  6. Thinking of a (clinical or research) team that you have been part of, what one aspect do you feel was the key to overall team excellence? 

POST CHAT

The Numbers

1.852M Impressions

219 Tweets

30 Participants

9 Avg Tweets/Hour

7 Avg Tweets/Participant