OTalk

#OTalk – 30th November 2021 – Creating a Sensory Friendly Environment

This weeks chat will be hosted by Rebecca Cusworth @RebeccaCus.

Sensory integration is when our body and brain organises sensations which tell us about ourself and the environment (ASI Wise 2021). The senses including touch, vision, hearing, smell, taste, vestibular, proprioception, and introception (ASI Wise 2021). We receive sensory input from our sensory receptors, we process the sensory information, and then we generate a response to this (Miller 2006). An example of this process might be:

James is swinging on a swing. 
He is enjoying the sensation of moving through the air, the weightlessness at the top of the swing, and the heaviness when he is closest to the ground. He can hear the wind whistling in his ears and can see the ground moving along beneath him. While he swings, James holds onto the chains which he can smell are metal. James can tell he is becoming hungry so he waits until the next upward swing before jumping through the air. 

As all of us are sensory beings, we all have preferences for what we enjoy and dislike. For example, another person may feel motion-sick or afraid when swinging on a swing. When we are in our own homes, we might choose to dim the lights, to light scented candles, surround ourselves with comfy blankets, and eat food which makes us feel good (e.g., chocolate). 

When we are unwell, stressed, or in different environments (such as hospital, a friend’s house, workplace), we are less inclined to use our preferences to make ourselves feel better. 

This #OTalk chat aims to initiate the conversation about how we can create a sensory-friendly environment for ourselves and our patients. As occupational therapists, we are well placed to promote improvements in our services. 

Questions:

1. What is your understanding of sensory friendly environments?

2. What needs to change in your workplace to make it more sensory friendly for patients?

3. What needs to change to make your environment more sensory friendly for staff?

4. What do you feel would be challenging about putting this in place?

5. What support do you feel would be beneficial from RCOT or your Trust?

POST CHAT

Host:  Rebecca Cusworth @RebeccaCus.

Support on OTalk Account: Rachel @OT_Rach

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 – 23rd November 2021 – Occupational Therapy and Intermediate Care.

This weeks chat will be hosted by  Paul Wilkinson @Paulwilkinson94 who is a rotational occupational therapist currently working for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

It is evident that hospitals across the country are experiencing heightened demands and challenges during these unprecedented times. Whilst the National Health Service across the United Kingdom continues to strive to meet individual patient needs, it also continues to do battle and cope with the pressures from COVID-19, staff shortages, and increased hospital admissions. Consequently, the above factors mean hospital beds are in more of a demand than arguably ever before. 

Nationally it is recognised that the longer individuals remain in hospital the greater the risk of deconditioning and being diagnosed with hospital acquired infections can occur particular among the elderly and vulnerable. As occupational therapists we recognise that individuals thrive and recover often more effectively within their own environments. However, during a time of uncertainty it could be argued we are forced to consider discharge planning from the acute settings earlier than ever before, meaning often individuals are medically optimised but not fully from a therapy perspective. 

It seems to make hospital beds more accessible intermediate care settings and wider community settings are being utilised to bridge the clinical pathway for older individuals transitioning from the hospital to home more than ever before. According to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018) intermediate care services provide support for a short time to help individuals recover and increase independence. The service is often provided by a combination of health and social care professionals including occupational therapists. The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2016) suggest occupational therapists working within intermediate care settings can help ensure smooth transition into the community.  

In April this year I was fortunate enough to rotate into an intermediate care setting based in the Northeast of England. Several months later working as an occupational therapist within this setting it became clear to myself through interaction with service users, relatives, and wider professionals the understanding of the role and purpose of an intermediate care setting and how occupational therapy fits into this setting was blurred and limited. This led me to further want to extend my understanding and gain insight amongst the occupational therapy community through #OTalk with the following questions:

  1. How would you best describe the purpose of an intermediate care setting? 
  2. Why do you think the purpose and understanding of intermediate care if often misunderstood? 
  3. What challenges do you think present to an occupational therapist working within an intermediate care setting? 
  4. What do you think are the benefits of an occupational therapist working within an intermediate care setting? 
  5. How do you think the role and purpose of an intermate care setting could be made clearer?  

POST CHAT

Host:  Paul Wilkinson @Paulwilkinson94

Support on OTalk Account: @kirstieot

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 2nd November 2021

This week our host is Sherri Kapadia  @ot_withsherri_

As part of our OT Week activities, Sherri will host this week’s chat on

The role of research in supporting occupational therapists to achieve health equity

Eliminating health inequalities are a priority in effective occupational therapy practice. In their simplest form, health inequalities consider the variations in people’s health status, which encompasses life expectancy and disease prevalence (Kings Fund, 2020). The evidence reflects that drivers of such differences in people’s health stem from social factors including education, income, gender and ethnicity (World Health Organisation, 2018). Equally, it is important to acknowledge who health inequalities occur between. Four main factors in which health inequalities are typically analysed are: socioeconomic factors, geographical location, characteristic (including ones protected by the law such as race and disability) and socially excluded groups (Kings Fund, 2020). 

For occupational therapists, tackling health inequalities has no defined pathway. However, we can begin by putting occupation at the centre of the solution. Occupational therapists may consider the impact that driving factors of health inequalities have on individuals’ engagement in occupation.  For example, health management is an occupation outlined in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework (OTPF; AOTA, 2020), and within this is communicating with healthcare systems. Occupational therapists may seek to understand the systemic and social barriers to accessing healthcare that different groups may face. Occupational therapists can identify strategies that lessen these barriers and enable these groups to participate in health management activities. 

Alternatively, occupational therapists may consider the impact on participation that unequal health outcomes have on individuals’ engagement in occupation. Here, occupational therapist’s may seek to understand how a disease may influence a person’s participation in a particular occupation. For example, when interventions provided are not centred towards an individual’s needs, they may engage in occupations that temporarily reduce their symptoms but negatively impact their health in the long term. At this stage, occupational therapists may be well placed to help individuals manage their symptoms and find substitute occupations that can positively impact their health and lifestyle. 

Research is a crucial factor in highlighting the role of occupational therapy in tackling health inequalities and ensuring occupational therapy interventions are adaptable and, therefore, equally effective on different individuals. It is well known that occupational therapists work with a diverse range of clients. However, it is not well known if our evidence base reflects the same diversity. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge the role of research in helping occupational therapists to bridge the gaps in health inequalities. 

Furthermore, it is essential to acknowledge that the type of research needed to improve our understanding of health inequalities spans qualitative and quantitative methods. For example, the Richmond Group report, ‘You only had to ask: what people with multiple conditions say about health equity’, stated that statistical analysis between long-term conditions and socioeconomic status was evident. However, less research focused on exploring the lived experience of individuals facing these health inequalities (Richmond Group of Charities; Impact on Urban Health, 2021). This example reflects the need to analyse the impact of health inequalities from both an objective and subjective perspective. 

Additionally, the systemic drivers of health inequalities require those with lived experience to be at the forefront of research efforts. Facilitating co-produced or community-led research may ensure that occupational therapy interventions produce equitable outcomes and are meaningful to different individuals and groups. Further research is required to trial new and old interventions with various groups, understand the occupational needs that are not being acknowledged, and thoroughly examine our role in preventative measures. 

Through meaningful research, occupational therapists can enact significant change and be a part of providing equitable care for everyone. The questions below will hopefully provoke the conversation about conducting research in occupational therapy to support health equity for all. 

Questions

  1. What role do you think research plays in supporting health equity? Do you have examples to share?
  1. What evidence do we need to build upon to create greater health equity? What new evidence should the OT profession generate which highlights and provides solutions to overcoming health inequalities? 
  1. What methodological considerations do we need to address when designing and carrying out research which highlights and provides solutions to achieving health equity?
  1. Ethical research is essential. What ethical considerations might we need to consider when planning to research groups facing health inequalities?
  1. Health equity is an important issue. What are effective ways of disseminating new research in this area to ensure practicing OTs are aware of its findings and able to translate these findings into their practice? 

References

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (4th ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy74(Suppl. 2), Article 7412410010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.74S2001 


Kings Fund, Williams, E., Buck, D. and Babalola, G. (2020) What are health inequalities? Available at: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/what-are-health-inequalities (Accessed: 26/10/2021)

The Richmond Group of Charities and Impact on Urban Health (2021) You only had to ask
What people with multiple conditions say about health equity A report from the Taskforce on Multiple Conditions. Available at: https://richmondgroupofcharities.org.uk/sites/default/files/youonlyhadtoask_fullreport_july2021_final.pdf?utm_source=The%20King%27s%20Fund%20newsletters%20%28main%20account%29&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12554246_NEWSL_HWB%202021-08-09&dm_i=21A8,7H2X2,6W4S2E,UDUYQ,1 (Accessed: 26/10/2021)

World Health Organisation (2018) ‘Health inequalities and their causes’ 

Post Chat

Host:  This week our host is Sherri Kapadia @ot_withsherri_

Support on OTalk Account: @preston_jenny 

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

25th October 2021 #OTalkTurnsTen – Help us Celebrate 

This October 25th 2021 #OTalkTurnsTen Can you believe it? We have a number of things lined up to celebrate, including a few surprises, and we require the OTalk community to help with three of them. 

  1. Share why you love #OTalk #OTalkTurnsTen
  2. Bake #OTalk a birthday cake and share it #OTalkDoesBakeOff 
  3. Apply to become a member of either the #OTalk team or the #OTalk Research team #BecomeAnOTalkTeamMember

Share the Love #OTalkTurnsTen

Can you tell us what you like about #OTalk and why you engage?   We would love the community to share this, in tweets, video clips, or even a blog post, feel free to share on any of our social media platforms, using the hashtag #OTalkTurnsTen from now until our Birthday on 25th October.  

So start thinking and start sharing your memories and thoughts,  here are a few suggestions to get you started. 

  • What do you love about #OTalk? 
  • How did you find out about #OTalk?
  • What is your most Memorable #OTalk chat?
  • What has #OTalk meant for your career?
  • Have you ever had a light bulb moment during #OTalk?
  • Have you ever hosted a chat? What was that experience like? 
  • Have you met any of the #OTalk team in person?  Share any pictures/videos.
  • Have you ever been put on the naughty step for forgetting to include the hashtag?
  • Did you come to one of our meetup events at a conference, what was it like?

Remember when sharing always include  #OTalkTurnsTen   By sharing you are giving @OTalk_ permission to use content*



Bake #OTalk a Birthday Cake #OTalkTurnsTen #OTalkDoesBakeOff

As the Great British Bake Off has returned, and has the cheek to air during our time slot, Tuesdays 8pm, we would love you to make @OTalk_ a birthday cake. We are looking forward to seeing how creative the OTalk community is at this meaningful occupation.  The #OTalk team will be sharing their efforts too, trust us there will be some funny ones.  

So get baking and don’t forget to share your images (no matter the outcome, it’s the processes that are important) on social media used the three hashtags #OTalkTurnsTen #GBBO #OTalkDoesBakeOff

By sharing you are giving @OTalk_ permission to use content*



Become an #OTalk or #OTalk Research Team member #OTalkTurnsTen #BecomeAnOTalkTeamMember

#OTalk is a free resource for the community and is run by volunteers.  #OTalk aims to remain a free resource, and anything that team members might get involved in that has a cost attached is self funded by that member.  It can be a demand on your free time, but it’s worth it, and it can be fun. Plus as a team we have always supported each other.  

The #OTalk research team currently has only two members who work solely on identifying hosts and curating 12 research chats a year on the 1st Tuesday of the month.    There is some admin involved including posting blog posts and communicating with hosts, plus supporting the monthly chat.  You will not be required to do every month as this will be shared with other research team members. You will be given some mentoring to start with. If you’re interested in research and have some basic knowledge of Twitter and other platforms this might be a perfect voluntary role for you.  It’s a great opportunity for you to develop your networks within the research community too.

The #OTalk team currently has 6 members,  this team might be a little more demanding on your time.  Jobs that the team shares include; . 

  • Maininting the blog/website
  • Managing the email account
  • Managing and liaising with those that offer to host
  • Posting blog posts 
  • Collecting data and transcripts of chats
  • Taking it in turns to support the weekly chats
  • Liaise with anyone contacting the team via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and email
  • Promoting #OTalk at events e.g. manning a stall and/or running workshops or giving presentations about #OTalk and social media as a CPD and Therapeutic tool, when invited to do so at OT events across the UK. This is self funded. 
  • Working with stakeholders such as The RCOT and The OT show on projects.

So if you’re a fan of doing lots of work, just for the joy of it; think of yourself as an OTGeek; want to network more;  and develop your organisational, social media and tech skills then you might just be a good fit.  We will of course give guidance and support. 

Send us an expression of interest by email here. otalk.blog@gmail.com

Lastly we have a few other surprises in store; including a 10th Birthday Gift for you, but more about that later! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!!!!

*By sharing posts using any of these hashtags  #OTalkTurnsTen #GBBO #OTalkDoseBakeOff  You are consenting to the OTalk team using what you have shared, to promote our birthday.  We do not keep any personal information, but will search social media for your posts using the hashtags and share them across all of our platforms.

OTalk

#OTalk – 9th March 2021 – The role of occupational therapy in the charity sector

This chat will be hosted by Dr Naomi Graham @growinghopeuk.

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have heightened the awareness of health and wellbeing needs across our nation and the need for intervention, particularly for the most vulnerable. Researchers such as Horridge et al. (2019) and Stuckler et al. (2017) discussed the impact of austerity on health and wellbeing for various populations. Horridge et al. (2019) reported that families of children with additional needs have experienced a cut in therapy services across the past ten years. The National Autistic Society (2020) found in a survey during COVID-19 that 1 in 5 families had to reduce their work during lockdown so that they could care for a family member who has autism.

As a children’s occupational therapist experiencing first-hand the service cuts for the families I was working with I decided to found a charity in 2017 – Growing Hope (@growinghopeuk). Growing Hope provides free therapy for children and young people with additional needs in partnership with local churches across the UK. We aim to grow hope for children, hope for families and hope in Jesus. Growing Hope is open to all individuals regardless of their background and beliefs. We have set up a model which aims to use local communities existing resources (such as space within churches) to provide free healthcare services for families of children with additional needs. We are trying to provide a holistic approach and therefore run groups for siblings and parents and carers to discuss and process their experience.

We now have two local clinics in King’s Cross and Brockley, London, and we have potential clinics in cities outside of London in the pipeline to launch in 2021. As a charity we want to be working with children’s occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and other members of the MDT so that we can support the families who are currently missing out. We want to find out about other charities who are providing occupational therapy and how charities can work with existing NHS therapy teams in order to best support the clients we work with.

Questions:

Are there other charities who are providing occupational therapy for free to meet a gap for their client group?

  1. What are the benefits of responding to client needs through the charity sector?
  1. What does the occupational therapist role in the charity sector look like?
  1. How can therapists working within the charity sector connect with NHS teams to provide further intervention for individuals who need support?
  1. What has the impact of COVID-19 been on your client base? How have you seen austerity play out for clients that you’re working with?

References:

Horridge, K.A., Dew, R., Chatelin, A., Seal, A., Macias, L.M., Cioni, G., Kachmar, O., Wilkes, S. and (2019), Austerity and families with disabled children: a European survey. Dev Med Child Neurol, 61: 329-336. doi:10.1111/dmcn.13978

National Autistic Society. 2020. Left stranded: The impact of coronavirus on autistic people and their families in the UK.  [Online] . [29 September 2020]. Available from: https://s4.chorus-mk.thirdlight.com/file/1573224908/63117952292/width=-1/height=-1/format=-1/fit=scale/t=444295/e=never/k=da5c189a/LeftStranded%20Report.pdf

Stuckler, D., Reeves, A., Loopstra, R., Karanikolos, M., McKee, M., (2017) Austerity and health: the impact in the UK and Europe, European Journal of Public Health, Volume 27, Issue suppl_4, October 2017, Pages 18–21, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckx167

POST CHAT

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