#OTalk 6th November 2018 – Apps and Smart Technology in Research.

This week’s #OTalk Research is on the topic of “Apps and smart technology in research” and will be hosted by Leisle Ezekiel (@lezeki).

Here is what Leisle had to say………

Apps, smartphones, smartwatches and tablets are now part of everyday life for many people in the UK. Over 90% of people aged between 16 and 55 own a smartphone (Statista 2018) and whilst in the over 65s that percentage drops to 40%, it is increasing dramatically year on year (Ofcom 2018). 

As a novice occupational therapy researcher and an early adopter of technology, I was convinced by the potential of apps both in research and in occupational therapy practice. 

Apps and smartphones enable self tracking of a wide range of  behaviours and experiences  and are potentially less intrusive than more traditional methods. As well as capturing “in the moment experiences”, apps could deliver “in the moment interventions” and be of benefit to therapists in their assessment and intervention planning.  It is unsurprising then that there is an increasing interest in the use of apps within research, both as a method of collecting data and as a way of delivering interventions. 

For occupational therapists and the wider health arena, the use of apps and associated technology is a new landscape where health research overlaps with the world of app development. My personal experience of using apps in research has highlighted benefits as well as developing understanding of the potential ethical and practical challenges which can present, above and beyond those of more traditional research methods.

This week’s #OTalk will consider the following questions:

  1. What role do you think apps and smart technology can play in occupational therapy research?
  2. What do you consider to be the benefits of using apps and smart technology in occupational therapy research?
  3. What do you consider the barriers or risks of using apps and smart technology in research?
  4. What ethical considerations do we need to be aware of and overcome to use this technology in research?
  5. How can we improve and/or advance the use of apps and technology in occupational therapy research?


Ofcom (2017) Rise of social seniors revealed. Accessed on 15.10.18 at https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2017/rise-social-seniors

Statista (2018) UK: smartphone ownership by age from 2012-2018. Accessed on 15.10.18 at https://www.statista.com/statistics/271851/smartphone-owners-in-the-united-kingdom-uk-by-age/


Host: Leisle Ezekiel @lezeki

OTalk Support: @NikkiDanielsOT

Online Transcript #OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript November 6th 2018

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript November 6th 2018

The Numbers

1.215M Impressions
276 Tweets
29 Participants
221 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant
#OTalk Participants




#OTalk Research 2nd October 2018 –Photo Elicitation 

This weeks #OTalk Research is on the topic of “Photo Elicitation” and will be hosted by Gemma Wells (@GemmaOTPHD).

Here is what Gemma had to say…

When completing my PhD I choose to use the visual research method of photo-elicitation.  Visual research methods draw on a range of materials which may include photographs, video, film and drawings (Flick 2009; Asaba et al 2015) although the most commonly used visual stimuli is that of photographs (Rose 2014).  

Photo-elicitation is a particular style of interviewing that requires participants to take photographs as part of the interview process (Collier 1957) and was originally borne from anthropologists using photographs to illustrate their work (Collier 1957; Ketelle 2010). The term ‘photo-elicitation’ was first used by Collier in 1957 as a result of an experiment that he completed which compared using photographs in interviews to traditional interviews which only drew upon verbal stimuli to generate discussion. He concluded that the interviews which used photographs to stimulate the discussions were more fruitful than those adopting the more traditional approach.

Following my use of this research method in my PhD I concluded that photo-elicitation has the potential to enable occupational therapists to gain an enhanced understanding of the people they work with as occupational beings.  This includes the ability to capture detailed information about the context that enables an activity to become an occupation. Participant led photo-elicitation reflects the person centred ethos of occupational therapy by enabling people to capture and discuss what is important to them.

This #OTalk will consider the following questions;

  1. What do you consider to be the benefits of using photo-elicitation in occupational therapy research?
  2. What do you think might be the challenges of using photo-elicitation in occupational therapy research?
  3. How do you think that the process of photo-elicitation could be used in occupational therapy practice?
  4. What factors do you think need to be considered when using photo-elicitation in practice?
  5. How might photo-elicitation be used in your research or practice?


Host: @GemmaOTPHD

On the OTalk account: @preston_jenny

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript October 2nd 2018

The Numbers

1.283M Impressions
216 Tweets
15 Participants
173 Avg Tweets/Hour
14 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#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 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






#OTalk Research – Tuesday 5th June: Is working in research a viable option for occupational therapists?

The research #OTalk at 8.00pm on 5th June 2018 is being hosted by ROTTERS Plymouth (with ROTTERS Exeter and ROTTERS Truro) and supported Lynne Goodacre from the #OTalk Research team.


The reason for choosing this topic is because, whilst research is a recognised part of the work of an occupational therapist, it is not always clear how you can work as a researcher in occupational therapy. We have invited some occupational therapists, who are working in research, to join in the discussion. We will tweet to let you know who has agreed to participate; we are hoping for a great discussion informed by occupational therapists who have experience of working in research.


In our #OTalk we hope to discuss what sort of research roles exist, whether research roles are financially viable and if it possible to research occupation in these roles. We hope that the contributions from people, who are working in research roles, will provide invaluable insight into working as an occupational therapist in research especially in terms of providing top tips for an occupational therapist seeking a career in research.


We offer the following questions as a basis for reflection and discussion:


  1. What roles are available for occupational therapists wanting to work in research?


  1. Are there any financially secure research jobs? (i.e. Are there only fixed/ short term rather than permanent contracts? Or do you have to combine research work with another role?)


  1. Is it possible to work solely on occupation focussed research projects?


  1. Where do you find out about research jobs?


  1. What would be your top tip for an occupational therapist seeking a career in research?


Prepared by Solei Naisbett-Jones, Elspeth Clark, Rachel Rawlings, Martha Hocking and Katrina Bannigan on behalf of Plymouth ROTTERS.





Post Chat

Hosting Chat  @ROTTERsPlym @KatrinaBannigan with support from @ROTTERsExeter@ROTTERSTruro @OTPlymouthUni @PIELRes

On the #OTalk account  @LynneGoodacre

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript June 5th 2018

The Numbers

1.241M Impressions
714 Tweets
67 Participants
571 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk Research – Tuesday 3rd April: Coproduction in Research

April’s #OTalk Research is being hosted by Claire Ballinger and Tina Coldham and supported Lynne Goodacre from the #OTalk Research team.



There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the importance of patient and public involvement in research, with evidence that such involvement makes research more accessible, meaningful and successful.

Some go further and argue that coproduction or cocreation of research must be the way forward if we are to truly focus on service users’ understandings, perspectives and priorities.  As OTs, this has a synergy with our client centred practice. However, those new to research and coproduction might be wondering how it might work, how to ‘do’ it, and perhaps whether it is even possible!

In our OTalk we hope to discuss what coproduction means, hear from people who have experience of coproduction in research about what it is like, and share some ideas about how to work successfully together.

We offer the following questions as a basis for reflection and discussion:
1. What do we understand by coproduction in health research?

2. Why might coproduction in research be useful? For whom/what?

3. Has anyone had experience of coproduction health research? What was it like.

4. What were the highlights and surprises? Was there anything that concerned you or you wish had been done differently?

5. What principles, resources or tips could we share to guide coproduction?

Post Chat

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript April 3rd 2018

The Numbers

684.609K Impressions
295 Tweets
34 Participants
236 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

Data for #OTalk can be up to 15 minutes delayed


#OTalk Research – Tuesday 6th March: The National Institute for Health Research Integrated Clinical Academic Schemes (ICA): An opportunity for Occupational Therapists

March’s #OTalk Research is being hosted Professor Pip Logan and supported by Jenny Preston from the #OTalk Research team.


The National Institute for Health Research Integrated Clinical Academic Schemes (ICA): An opportunity for Occupational Therapists


This talk will cover a number of issues related to the National Institute for Health Research


The National Institute for Health Research celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2016. Their strap line is Improving Health and wealth of the nation through research. It is the largest national clinical research funder in Europe with a pot of £1 billion per year. It is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and has a number of different strands. One of the key aspects is that it is not just research for the National Health Service it is a place for occupational therapists working in social care, local authorities and charities to get involved. Through supporting research, infrastructure, training researchers, training clinical academics, disseminating research and implementing it into practice the NIHR provides a place for occupational therapists to complete masters, PhDs, advanced training leading to Professorships and consultancies.


The 2016 Strategic Review of Training looked proactively at future training needs. It acknowledged that there has been considerable changes in healthcare needs and technological advances, as well as changes in the nature of the academic workforce. Approval was given to the development and delivery of an NIHR Academy Strategy ensuring that the NIHR Academy both meets the needs of the wider research community and other key stakeholders now and in the future, and is fully and dynamically linked with NIHR and DH strategy. This document states that professions such as occupational therapy are areas that the NIHR would like to support, however very few applications come from occupational therapists.


The Integrated Clinical Academic Schemes (ICA), which is a dedicated strand for Nurses, midwives and AHPs is part of this Academy and I am the Lead Advocate for the Occupational Therapists and therefore link the Royal College of Occupational Therapy with the NIHR. I have a team of five other Occupational Therapists and we are here to help you become clinical academics. Plus I also chair one of the committees that reviews the Doctoral training applications and I sit as a member on the Health Technology Board. If an occupational Therapist applies to the NIHR to do a fully funded PhD, and I am not conflicted, than I will see the application and most likely get to review it and interview the candidate. However we get so few applications from occupational therapists.


For example of the NIHR ICA awards 40% are held by physiotherapists, 17% by dieticians, 14% by dieticians and only 12 % by Occupational Therapists.


When this is compared to the HCPC register we see that of the AHPs, 40% are physiotherapists, 29% are occupational therapists, 12% are speech and language therapists and 7% or dieticians.


Host Bios
Tina is co-Chair of the Wessex PIN as well as being Chair of the NIHR Involve Advisory Group, and a long time survivor researcher.

Claire is also co-Chair of the Wessex PIN, an OT at heart and passionate about co-production in research.

The Wessex Public Involvement Network (PIN) is a multiagency research partnership that works with the public co-productively seeking to improve all our research endeavours in the region.



  • Have you applied or thought about applying for a personal award or a project grant to NIHR? how did you get on?
  • Compared to other AHPs OTs are the least likely to apply for NIHR research funding. Why do you think this is?
  • How can I and other Profs encourage OTs to believe in themselves like the other AHPs and come forward to apply for NIHR funding and fellowship?

Post Chat

Online Transcript

#OTalk Healthcare Social Media Transcript March 6th 2018

The Numbers

1.597M Impressions
425 Tweets
49 Participants
340 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants