Blog Posts

OTalk

#OTalk – 19th April 2022 – Psychological care after stroke (also relevant to other neuro conditions).

This #OTalk is being hosted by Louise Clark (@louiseclark15), Consultant Occupational Therapist- Stroke rehab. Assoc. Director SSNAP, RCOT stroke forum & intercollegiate stroke working party member.

Psychologists are an essential part of the MDT across the stroke pathway, however the recent SSNAP post acute organisational audit shows significant workforce challenges in inpatient and community services with very few services meeting the minimum recommended staffing levels for psychologists.

The stepped care model recommends an MDT approach to delivering psychological care after stroke, with Occupational Therapists well placed to be involved in assessment and delivering interventions for cognition and mood, for those at level one and two of the stepped care model.

This OTalk explores the challenges and opportunities for joint working between psychology and occupational therapy to optimise psychological care after stroke, exploring boundaries and understanding of each other’s roles and training.  Come and join us to continue the discussion started at the recent UK stroke forum, with members of the RCOT stroke forum and the British Psychological Society.

The following questions will be explored;

1. What are the challenges in delivering comprehensive psychological care after stroke?
2. What are our similarities and differences between the professions when thinking about mood and cognition? (practice, training, approach)
3. How should we work together from assessment to intervention to make the best of resources and skills to deliver what the patient needs?
4. If you could do one thing in your workplace to improve working between OT and Psychology, what would it be?

Post Chat

Host:  Louise Clark (@louiseclark15)

Support on OTalk Account: Sam Pywell (@smileyfacehalo

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.
OTalk

#OTalk 12th April 2022 Intersectionality: What is it and why should occupational therapists know about it?  Hosted by @AbleOTUK

This week @AbleOTUK will be hosting the chat 

Intersectionality, n.

The interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage; a theoretical approach based on such a premise.’

(Oxford Dictionary)

Kimberle Crenshaw a law professor and social theorist, first coined the word intersectionality in her 1989 paper “Demarginalising The Intersection Of Race And Sex: A Black Feminist Critique Of Anti-discrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory And Antiracist Politics.” to describe the dialogue between feminism and women of colour, highlighting the different barriers women face dependent on the colour of their skin. This movement called for better inclusion and understanding of the different issues, such as racism, women of colour face in seeking gender equality.  

Since then, the term intersectionality has broadened to include protected characteristics, such as class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability and gender.

Intersectional theory describes multiple overlapping identities such as, language, occupation, level of education, income, marital status, whether you are a parent or not. That may oppress a person or a group of people. It believes that markers of identity, like race or sexuality, don’t just exist separately, but they all overlap or interconnect when it comes to oppression and power. It’s the idea that these layers do not exist separately from each other but intersect to form a person’s identity, and can magnify the discrimination and marginalisation they might experience.

Intersectionality happens in society any time a person has multiple forces of discrimination working against them.

Gender and Disability in Healthcare example.

Jane has had problems with attention her whole life. Although she has been to see many doctors and other health professionals throughout her life. It was not until Jane was an adult that she was finally diagnosed with ADHD. However, her doctor wonders why she wasn’t diagnosed sooner.

ADHD is a well-known disability. However, there is little research into this disability for women. This is because, for a long time, it was thought to only impact on males. Therefore, the symptoms and diagnosis of the disease were written for men. 

Since there is little research on ADHD for women, diagnosis doesn’t usually happen until they are older. Therefore, a woman with ADHD might feel unique oppression in healthcare.

Question 1-  To what extent are you aware of the term Intersectionality, and what does it mean to you?

Question 2 – If you feel comfortable please share your intersectionality identity, in terms of class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability and gender, and any other factors that make up your Identity.

Question 3 – What if any discrimination of identity have you observed within services you have accessed or work/ed within?

Question 4 – Can you explain why understanding intersectionality is important within occupational therapy?

Question 5 – How might occupational therapy practice ensure it considers a person’s intersectionality?


References 

https://www.researchinpractice.org.uk/all/news-views/2021/september/why-intersectionality-is-vital-to-anti-discriminatory-practice/

https://time.com/5560575/intersectionality-theory/

https://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/intersectionalities

POST CHAT

Host:  @AbleOTUK

Support on OTalk Account: Helen @helen_otuk

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.

OTalk

#OTalk Research Tuesday 5th April 2022 – Career Progression in Occupational Therapy: To PhD or Not to PhD?

This weeks #OTalk research, will be hosted by the two newest members of the OTalk research team; Beverley Turtle (@bevaturtle) and Samantha Tavender (@SamOTantha).  

Beverley is a post-doctoral researcher based at Ulster University. She is part of a team of occupational therapists working across Northern Ireland and Ireland on a randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of mirror therapy for the treatment of upper limb impairment following stroke. With a background in Psychology, Beverley graduated from Occupational Therapy in 2016, moving directly into a full time PhD, working part-time clinically as a band 5 occupational therapist alongside her role as a researcher.  

Samantha is a lecturer at the University of Huddersfield.  Before working as a lecturer Samantha has been working clinically as an Occupational Therapist for the last 10 years both in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Samantha is at the very beginning stage of a part time PhD which is due to start September 2022. 

Beverley and Samantha are in contrasting stages of their careers, both in their research and clinical pathways. What they do have in common is that they have both chosen a PhD as an opportunity to develop their research skills and knowledge and to support them to progress along their chosen career pathways. 

Recognising the differences in their approaches to their chosen study patterns and timings within their careers has led Beverley and Samantha to reflect on the different approaches occupational therapists can take to develop their research skills, knowledge and ways of thinking to a level which is considered advanced (Royal College of Occupational Therapy 2021).  Their reflection has also considered if a PhD is the best or only way to progress research to this level within an occupational therapy career. What other ways could an individual progress their research skills, knowledge and ways of thinking to a level which is considered advanced without completing a formal doctoral qualification?

Join Samantha and Beverley as they reflect upon their individual journeys and join them with your own reflections and thoughts on developing as a researcher. 

Tonight’s chat questions:

  1. Let’s start by sharing our own stories and experiences. What opportunities have you taken to develop and advance your research skills and knowledge? Did you choose to PhD or not to PhD? 
  2. What influenced your decisions and the timing within your career?
  3. Do you think there is a ‘right time’ to start thinking about further researcher development or starting something like a PhD? 
  4. How can occupational therapists, at all levels of their careers, be supported to engage in further researcher development? Have you got any advice for others on how to best to engage in opportunities to develop and advance as a researcher, whether a PhD or alternative opportunities?
  5. What more can RCOT/Employers/universities do to support occupational therapists looking to progress research within their career?  
  6. What steps do you think you can take now to help you meet your research development goals? 

References: 

Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2021). Career Development Framework. London: RCOT. Available at: https://www.rcot.co.uk/publications/career-development-framework 

POST CHAT

Host: Beverley Turtle (@bevaturtle) and Samantha Tavender (@SamOTantha).

Support on OTalk Account: Beverley Turtle (@bevaturtle) and Samantha Tavender (@SamOTantha).

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.
OTalk

#OTalk Tuesday 29th March – Rough Sleeper Mental Health & Occupational Therapy.

This chat will be hosted by Danica Moller (@DanicaOT1) with Carolina Cordero (@colourful_OT) supporting from the @OTalk_ account.

Danica is an occupational therapist working in a rough sleeper mental health team, in London. Through OTalk tonight, she aims to explore the role of occupational therapy when working with people who are sleeping rough. 

Statistics regarding people who are sleeping rough, in the United Kingdom clearly indicate severe health inequalities and much poorer health outcomes. People who sleep rough over a long period of time face a higher likelihood of dying prematurely, with the average life expectancy of a rough sleeper in the UK being 44 years for a male and 42 years for a female (Health matters: rough sleeping, 2022; Office for National Statistics, 2022). Many who sleep rough have co-occurring mental ill health and substance misuse needs, physical health needs and have experienced and continue to experience, significant trauma (Health matters: rough sleeping, 2022). 

There is often a view that the solution to the numbers of people sleeping rough, is just having better access to housing. Whilst this can certainly be the case for some, there is a population of people sleeping rough whose mental health has not only been a contributing factor to their circumstances but also a barrier to getting back into appropriate accommodation. This is further challenged by what an individual faces in trying to access appropriate mental health assessment, treatment and care. This could be to do with services not being set up adequately, prejudice and assumptions that are made about them, and also strict inclusion criteria (Health matters: rough sleeping, 2022).  This could also include barriers that result from an individual’s cognitive and physical health, financial hardship, lack of awareness and understanding of the impact of mental health on their wellbeing or environmental restrictions such as lack of suitable transport and location (Baker and Jones, 2021). If the individual experiences substance dependence, as a high portion of people sleeping rough do, then the barriers to accessing services are even greater (Health matters: rough sleeping, 2022).  

So considering that occupational therapists are trained to explore and address both physical and mental health, what is the role for an OT within this population? Are we as a profession doing enough to support, address and advocate for the needs of rough sleepers?   

To explore this topic, tonight we will discuss the following questions:  

  1. Do you have experience working as an OT with rough sleepers? What can OT offer to people sleeping rough who present with mental health needs?
  2. What are the barriers someone who is sleeping rough faces trying to access mental health care? How can services better support engagement?  
  3. What are examples of occupational injustice that someone who is rough sleeping faces?  
  4. What standardised or non-standardised occupational therapy assessments could be used to gain an understanding of functional difficulties an individual sleeping rough faces? Consider some of the creative ways an OT could work to try and complete a thorough OT assessment, without having access to a standard ‘home’ or ‘hospital’ environment?  

 References

 ‘Good work being undone’: 11,000 people slept rough in London during Covid-19. The Big Issue. (2022). Retrieved 9 March 2022, from https://www.bigissue.com/news/housing/good-work-is-being-undone-11000-people-rough-sleeping-in-london-in-covid-19/.

Baker, H., & Jones, G. (2021). Helping homeless people to reclaim and rebuild their lives. OTnews, (29(12), 18-21. 

Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales – Office for National Statistics. Ons.gov.uk. (2022). Retrieved 6 March 2022, from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsofhomelesspeopleinenglandandwales/2019registrations#:~:text=The%20mean%20age%20at%20death%20for%20the%20identified%20homeless%20deaths,years%20and%2062.4%20years%20respectively.Health matters: rough sleeping. GOV.UK. (2022). Retrieved 12 March 2022, from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-rough-sleeping/health-matters-rough-sleeping

POST CHAT

Host:  Danica Moller (@DanicaOT1)

Support on OTalk Account: Carolina Cordero (@colourful_OT

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.
OTalk

OTs4Ukraine – #OTalk 22nd March 2022

Occupational Therapists across the globe are coming together in support of the Ukrainian people, and our Ukrainian Occupational Therapy colleagues – many of who are now displaced into neighbouring countries.

Occupational Therapy in Ukraine is a very new profession, with many universities offering dual training alongside Physiotherapy. The first WFOT accredited Occupational Therapy masters graduates completed their course in 2021.

Lorraine Mischuk is a Canadian based OT with family in Ukraine. She was tweeting about the conflict and reached out to other OTs on Twitter including Jenny Ceolta-Smith (@JCeoltaSmith) and Kirsty Stanley (@Occ4LifeLtd).

A zoom meeting was scheduled and OTs4Ukraine was formed as a grassroots movement with Lorraine and a colleague reaching out to people they knew in Ukraine to see what their immediate needs were. We also reached out to professional organisations including RCOT and WFOT.

Social media was used strategically and a Facebook group was formed to collect OTs interested in supporting this effort in one place The Facebook group stands at over 1.3 thousand members – and has expanded beyond OT. Join us here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/468868371455224/

There are currently groups working on developing resources in 32 clinical areas and a website resource is being developed that will focus on how Occupational Therapy can support in emergencies – and how we can support each other to upskill rapidly in areas that situations we are not used to dealing with. From psychological first aid to Burns and Amputation. This is in recognition that this advice has been needed in the past (in other wars, terrorist attacks and natural disasters) and is likely to be required in the future.

Dan Johnson is a UK Trained OT based in New Zealand and WFOT Delegate. He has experience with military veterans. (@DanJohnWFOT).

Kirsty Stanley is an Independent OT in the U.K. (@Occ4LifeLtd).

Together they will lead this OTalk and invite you to discuss the following:

1. How do we best match offers of support to the needs of Ukraine?

2. How do we balance the momentum of a grassroots movements balanced with the need for a coordinated effort with organisations such as WFOT & W.H.O?

3. How do we maintain momentum to support our Ukrainian OT colleagues over the longer term?

4. Is this issue wider than supporting Ukraine?

5. What is the unique role that occupational therapy can offer in emergencies?

POST CHAT

Host:  Dan Johnson (@DanJohnWFOT). Kirsty Stanley (@Occ4LifeLtd).

Support on OTalk Account: Paul Wilkinson @Paulwilkinson94

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.