#OTalk Research – Tuesday 1st August 2017. Looking back.

August’s #OTalk Research is looking back over the first year of dedicated monthly chats and is being hosted by Nikki Daniels – @NikkiDanielsOT (#OTalk Research Team) and supported by Helen – @Helen_OTUK  (#OTalk Team).

Intro Blog Post:

As we fast approach the first anniversary of #OTalk Research, we look back on a successful year of chats covering a range of research related topics. Discussions to date have demonstrated the strong interest in research within the profession, both across clinical areas and spanning various levels of experience of research activity.  Motivation and passion to engage in research and advance evidence base practice within the profession has never been so apparent.

#OTalk Research appears to be inspiring us to take part in studies, engage with academic peers or take the plunge in to a higher degree (or at least begin to think it could be a realistic possibility!)

Augusts #OTalk Research will see us open up the floor to you to share your reflections or actions, ask a question which may not yet have been answered or reach out to others with similar research interests. Whether you are a regular contributor, lurker or new to #Otalk Research this is an opportunity to reflect, take stock and forward plan both for our profession and move individual research aspirations forward!

So the #OTalk Research team would like to know about :

Q.1 What you have valued most about #OTalk Research?

Q.2 Any unanswered questions you still have around research in general?

Q.3 What hah you like to celebrate about OT research?

Q.4 What are your ideas for strengthening/building the OT research community?

Q.5 About anything you’ve been inspired to do from engaging with #OTalk research – no matter how big or small!

Q.6 Your top research tip you’d like to share

Q.7 Any topics you would like to see covered over the next 12 months?

Post Chat

online transcript

The Numbers

870.783K Impressions
269 Tweets
27 Participants
215 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk Research 4th July 2017

This month OTalk Research chat comes to you from Michelle Perryman, @symbolic_life and the North West Doctoral Network. Supported by Emma Hooper, @hooper_ek from the #OTalk Research Team.

yellow brick

At no point would we of the North West Doctoral Network, say that we are novelist in the making. But! What we do have are stories to tell, and these stories are how we are following the yellow brick road on the doctoral research path, climbing the mountain and collecting the tools along the way. I might suggest a PhD is not a novel, but, it does make you wonder, why do people do a PhD. What is it about contributing to the knowledge base of the profession in which people work, and how has this been rewarding and challenging?

In respect to our academic minds, creative thinking and new expression, I could provide many references to theoretical perspectives upon, what we should and shouldn’t do and how we should or shouldn’t do it. However, these are just a few person’s view.

So, the aim of this OTalk Research is to open up this conversation to Occupational Therapy professionals and wider, to understand the process of engaging in doctoral studies. The OTalk Research will allow for people who are considering doing, are doing and have done a doctoral research, to come together and share their experiences. How did you get by?  How did you, or do you stop yourself from throwing your computer out of the window, or accidentally dropping it in the bath? If you are thinking of embarking upon doctoral studies what would you like to know?

So, here are a few reflective questions to ponder;

  • What drives/drove you to consider or do a Doctoral Research?
  • What support mechanisms have you used throughout the journey? How and why are these important?
  • What is the highlight of your doctoral research so far?
  • How did you or do you maintain your motivation throughout your time studying?
  • Do you have any tips to get started in finding your voice?

Many thanks for your time and wisdom, we are looking forward to creating a relaxed academic environment to have a cup of tea and a chat! Hey, you could even turn up in your pyjamas I know I intend to…

Have a wonderful start to the summer,

Michelle Perryman and the North West Occupational Therapy Doctoral Network

The following has been added by @Helen_OTUK (#OTalk Team member & Chair of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists North West Regional committee) following the launch of The Constance Owens Trust, 70th Anniversary Awards at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists North West Regional Shout about Practice event on 24th May 2017 by Helena Culshaw, Chair of the trustees.

2017-05-25 (3)

Royal College of Occupational Therapists members can find a more detailed background to the Constance Owens Trust awards in OTNews June 2017 p54.

Post chat

online transcript

The Numbers

1.304M Impressions
806 Tweets
63 Participants
645 Avg Tweets/Hour
13 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk Research – Tuesday 6th June 2017

June’s #OTalk Research chat will be hosted by @ROTTERSPlym on the topic of ‘Feel the fear and start doing research tomorrow.’


Intro Blog:


When thinking about hosting #OTalk Research the ROTTERS curry club (Hocking et al, 2017) members looked at the previous #OTalks on research. The #OTalk research of 10th May 2016—what does it mean to engage with research within practice?—highlighted that we all know what the barriers to research in a clinical setting are. It’s important to recognise these, but the negative consequences of not doing research are too great for the profession. Occupational therapists need to ‘lean in’ (Sandberg, 2015) and start to do research in clinical practice. We also discussed how other professionals appear to us to be more focussed, i.e. better at explaining their role to others and doing (clinical) tasks in a systematic way. The group recognised the need to move forward and address this by being more focussed that is, explaining occupational therapy clearly in the workplace and measuring outcomes of practice. In keeping with the ‘lean in’ ethos we, as occupational therapists, need to change the conversation from what we can’t do in terms of research to what we can do. For some members this reminded them of a talk that Jen McAnuff (NIHR/HEE Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow, Newcastle University) and Sam Armitage (Senior Occupational Therapist, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust) gave at the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section – Children, Young People and Families Annual Conference 2016 called ‘Five ways to implement evidence based-practice, starting Monday’.

Building on Jen and Sam’s challenge this #OTalk Research—Feel the fear and start doing research tomorrow—is a rallying cry for us to work together to act. As a starting point here are some questions to think about:

  • What are the facilitators of your participation in research?
  • What resources can we all draw upon within our organisation and within research community?
  • Who do we need to collaborate within and outside your usual clinical and research networks to make research happen?
  • What is the first step you will take tomorrow to progress research in your area of work?


Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 21.44.35



Hocking M, Warren A, Bannigan K (2017) CPD with a twist: The ROTTERS curry club. OT News (2) 46-47

McAnuff J, Armitage S (2016) ‘Five ways to implement evidence based-practice, starting Monday’. College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section – Children, Young People and Families Annual Conference 2016 (personal communication)

Sandberg S (2015) Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. London: WH Allen

Post Chat

Online Transcript

The Numbers

1.209M Impressions
495 Tweets
38 Participants
396 Avg Tweets/Hour
13 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 2nd May 2017 – Developing Outcome Measures.

This week’s #OTalk is on the topic of developing outcome measures and will be hosted by Alison Laver-Fawcett (@alisonlaverfaw) from York St John University in the UK.

Here’s what Alison had to say:

In the early 1990s I embarked on developing and standardising an occupational therapy assessment. It was a daunting prospect as I had little idea of where to start! The process involved my undertaking several interrelated psychometric research studies and became the focus of my doctoral studies. Luckily I had a lot of excellent support, advise and mentorship on my test development journey and finally, around 5 years later, the test was published (the Structured Observational Test of Function, SOTOF, Laver and Powell, 1995). Since then I have been committed to supporting occupational therapists to use and develop standardised occupational therapy assessments and outcome measurement and so I am delighted to have been asked to host this #OTalk on ‘Developing Outcome measures’.

So why is this topic so important? Outcome measures are required to evaluate the effectiveness of occupational therapy services. Commissioners of services expect service evaluation evidence that draws upon the routine application of robust outcome measures. Outcome measurement is driven by both policy and professional standards. The College of Occupational Therapists began its 2013 Position Statement on ‘Occupational therapists’ use of standardised outcome measures’ with the following assertion:

‘The College of Occupational Therapists promotes the use of evidence-based outcome measures to demonstrate the delivery of high quality and effective occupational therapy services and to provide credible and reliable justification for the intervention that is delivered. Without accruing data from such sources the evidence-base to support the value of occupational therapy will fail to grow and the profession will be challenged to produce the robust information that will be essential to support future commissioning of occupational therapy services’ (p1).

There are quite few psychometric terms related to test development so here are a few definitions for students or as a reminder:

Reliability is ‘the extent to which the same measurements of individuals obtained under different conditions yield similar results,’ (Everitt, 2006, p.200).

Inter-rater reliability is the level of agreement between different raters administering the test (Bowers, 2014)

Test-retest reliability is the ‘correlation of scores obtained by the same person on two administrations of the same test and the consistency of this score over time,’ (Laver Fawcett, 2007, p.198).

Validity relates to whether the outcome measure assesses what it proposes to measure.

Content validity is ‘the degree to which the content of an … instrument is an adequate reflection of the construct to be measured’ (Mokkink et al, 2012: 9).

Face validity is the ‘degree to which (the items of) an … instrument indeed looks as though they are an adequate reflection of the construct to be measured’ (Mokkink et al, 2012: 9).

Whether you are an experienced researcher, a clinician or a student please join us on 2nd May for this #OTalk twitter chat and share your ideas and experience. It is never too early in your occupational therapy career to start engaging in the development of outcome measures. On the Occupational Therapy Programme at York St John University students have been collaborating with me to undertake psychometric studies for their final year dissertation (e.g. see Laver-Fawcett et al, 2016). You may have an idea for a new outcome measure, so where do you start with test development? You may be using an unstandardized outcome measure developed in your service and want to know how you would go about standardising it and checking it is a valid and reliable measure. Although you may not be embarking on developing a new outcome measure from scratch, you may still want or need to engage in related research and undertake psychometric studies. For example, you may identify an outcome measure developed in a different country and want to translate it or develop a culturally sensitive version or need to develop norms for your client population. Previous psychometric research may have had limitations that warrant replication of studies, for example existing studies of reliability or validity may have been conducted using small sample sizes and more robust evidence is required. You may want to evaluate the clinical utility of an outcome measure for your area of practice or understand your clients’ experience of undertaking the test.

Suggested talking points and discussion questions to focus our chat:

  1. If you were looking to develop an outcome measure what would it be and why?
  2. What factors should occupational therapists consider before deciding to develop an outcome measure?
  3. If you are using an unstandardized outcome measure, how would you go about standardising this?
  4. How can we check the reliability of a new or existing measure?
  5. How do we know if our outcome measure is really measuring what it was developed to measure?
  6. If occupational therapists are client centred why are there so few face validity studies of occupational therapy outcome measures?


Bowers D. (2014) Medical Statistics from Scratch: An Introduction for Health Professionals. 3rd ed. Chichester: Wiley.

College of Occupational Therapists (COT; 2013) Position statement: Occupational therapists use of standardized outcome measures. London: COT. Available from: https://www.cot.co.uk/sites/default/files/position_statements/public/COT-Position-Statement-measuring-outcomes.pdf (accessed 25 April 2017)

Everitt BS. (2006) Medical Statistics from A to Z: A Guide for Clinicians and Medical Students. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Laver, A. J. & Powell, G. E. (1995). The Structured Observational Test of Function (SOTOF). Windsor: NFER-NELSON.

Laver-Fawcett AJ. (2007) Principles of Assessment and Outcome Measurement for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists: Theory, Skills and Application. Chichester: Wiley. Note: BAOT/COT members can access an electronic copy of this book at: http://lib.myilibrary.com.cot.idm.oclc.org/ProductDetail.aspx?id=83859

 Laver-Fawcett A J, Brain L, Brodie C, Cardy L, Manaton L (2016) The Face Validity and Clinical Utility of the Activity Card Sort – United Kingdom (ACS-UK). British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(8) 492–504. doi:10.1177/0308022616629167. Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0308022616629167 (accessed 25th April 2017).

Mokkink LB, Terwee CB, Patrick DL, Alonso J, Stratford PW, Knol DL, Bouter LM and de Vet HCW (2012) COSMIN checklist manual. Available at: http://www.cosmin.nl/images/upload/files/COSMIN%20checklist%20manual%20v9.pdf (accessed 25 April 2017).

Some related resources:

College of Occupational Therapists (nd). Resources to help you choose assessments and outcome measures. Available from: https://www.cot.co.uk/cot-library/assessments-and-outcome-measures (accessed 25 April 2017)

College of Occupational Therapists (nd). Developing an assessment tool or outcome measure. Available from: http://www.cot.co.uk/cot-library/developing-assessment-tool-or-outcome-measure (accessed 25 April 2017)

Laver-Fawcett, A J (2014) Routine standardised outcome measurement to evaluate the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions: essential or optional? Ergoterapeuten, 4, 28-37. Available from: http://www.ergoterapeuten.no/Admin/Public/Download.aspx?file=Files%2fFiles%2fFagartikler%2foutcome.pdf (accessed 25th April 2017).

Laver-Fawcett AJ (2010). The importance of measuring outcomes, including patient reported outcome measures (PROMS). BAOT Lifelong learning event Slide Share. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/baotcot/the-importance-ofmeasuringoutcomes (accessed 25 April 2017)

Link to a bibliography for Outcomes and Evaluation of Occupational Therapy: https://lsbu.rl.talis.com/lists/ABE8C0F1-30D2-60C4-137E-3F7348999C39/bibliography.html (accessed 25 April 2017)

Post chat transcript

Online transcript

The Numbers

687,039 Impressions
356 Tweets
41 Participants
285 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

#OTalk Journal Club 19th April 2016 – BJOT Editorial

Being the #OTgeeks that we are, the #OTalk team contributed to an editorial in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy which was published last week. Hopefully, this will give us the motivation to plough on with the write-up of our 2014 research evaluating the impact of #OTalk!

We would not be #OTalk without our community, and thought this week’s #OTalk would be a great opportunity to further explore some of the issues we touched on in our editorial. Join us tomorrow, Tuesday 19th April at 8pm GMT+1 on Twitter using the #OTalk hashtag to discuss online communities of research and practice.



The full-text of the editorial can be accessed for free at the Sage Journals website – either in web or PDF form (links open in a new window).


Here are some questions to start off the conversation:

  • For you, what is the value of building an online communities of practice?
  • How do you build your online networks? How do you maintain them?
  • How do you decide what tools are helpful or a hindrance?
  • How do you balance your time online?


If you would like further inspiration, you can also check out our 2013 poster about developing online communities of practice.

Post Chat Updates:

The Numbers

1,511,661 Impressions
536 Tweets
81 Participants

Online Transcript from Health Care HashTags

PDF of transcript: 19th April 2016

#OTalk Participants


#OTalkOnTour – #COT2014 (3rd-5th June 2014)



The #OTalk team are on tour again! Kirsty, Helen and Clarissa will be at the College of Occupational Therapists annual conference in Brighton (3rd-5th June). Unfortunately, Gillian isn’t able to make it this year, but her posters (P141 ‘Underpinning reablement assessment with occupational therapy theory and philosophy‘ and P150 ‘The added value of occupational therapy – Reablement Pilot Evaluation‘) will be on display.


We will be presenting two sessions about #OTalk:

And will be at the following social events:

You can also see Kirsty’s poster (P37 ‘Fandoms – they’re real for us‘) in the ROMPA Poster Viewing area.


Grab us if you’ve got any questions/ideas/comments about #OTalk or would just like to put faces to names. We hope to see you there!

– Clarissa (@geekyOT), Helen (@helen_otuk) and Kirsty (@kirstyes)

#OTalk Research – Survey Completion Request

The OTalk Team has been awarded ethical approval to conduct a survey evaluating the impact of OTalk.

Please find below:

A copy of the Participant Information

A link to the Survey

A sample tweet/status for you to share with your followers (feel free to copy and paste this).

Participant Information

Research Title
#OTalk – an evaluation of the experiences and impact of a weekly occupational therapy twitterchat.

Purpose of this research
This form is designed to collect responses on your experience with the Twitter chat that uses the hashtag #OTalk (also including previous chats using the hashtag #occhat).

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of #OTalk on a number of factors including:
Opinions and knowledge of occupational therapy and occupational science.
Engagement in Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Changes to Practice.

It is also important to form a better understanding of enablers and barriers to engagement in the chats.

Who can take part?
If you have ever seen or interacted with the #OTalk or #occhat twitter chats please complete this survey whether you are an occupational therapist, occupational therapy student, other health or social care professional/student, service user or member of the general public.

Do I have to take part?
You are under no obligation to take part in this survey, however once survey responses have been submitted they can be edited (if you select that option) but not retracted. Most of the questions in the survey are optional and you are free to leave the survey at any time. We would of course appreciate your open and honest comments in as much detail as you are able to give.

What is involved in taking part in this survey?
This survey is conducted using Google Forms attached to the OTalk team gmail account. An Excel spreadsheet of the responses will be saved.

Please allow 30 minutes to complete the survey (although it may take less time depending on which option you select).

Completing the survey implies consent has been given.

There is no financial reward from taking part in the research.

There are no anticipated negative impacts to taking part in this survey, however you are free to contact the research team via otalk.occhat@gmail.com if you are concerned by any of the questions and we will direct you to relevant services where needed.

Will my involvement in the research be kept confidential?
Only the following members of the OTalk team will have access to data from the form/excel spreadsheet: Kirsty Stanley, Gillian Gorry, Helen Rushton and Clarissa Sørlie.

Please do not include your name or any confidential information referencing yourself or others. The team will anonymise information given when presenting the findings of this research at conferences or in publications.

The anonymised findings will be shared as widely as possible. Examples of dissemination activity are: presentation at the College of Occupational Therapists conference, on our blog and it is our intention to write this up for journal publication.

Who has reviewed the research?
Ethical approval to conduct this survey has been awarded from Bournemouth University.

When does the survey close?
The survey will remain open until the end of June 2014 – early responses will be reviewed and presented at the College of Occupational Therapists conference at the beginning of June 2014.

Contact for further information
If you have any questions please contact the Lead Researcher Kirsty Stanley (Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Bournemouth University) via otalk.occhat@gmail.com (or, if you prefer, kstanley@bournemouth.ac.uk) before taking part in the survey. Kirsty can arrange to speak to you in person to answer any questions if needed.

Thank you – The #OTalk Team. Kirsty, Gillian, Helen and Clarissa.

Link to the survey


Sample tweet/status update

Have you taken part, or seen me taking part in #OTalk on twitter. If so please consider completing this survey. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/13Bnx8sK1Qz0GGHAH-E88SiQ0aWelcpqZhMjOVxfcAxM/viewform?usp=send_form