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This week Sophie Grantham @OTSophie will be hosting the chat, here is what she has to say. 

In light of recent experience in my own work setting of increased occupational therapy input in safeguarding enquiries, I felt an OTalk about the topic may help develop my own knowledge, as well as find out more about what is going on in other Occupational Therapy settings.

Safeguarding is a term used in the UK to denote measures to protect the health, wellbeing and human rights of individuals, which allow people to live free from abuse, harm and neglect (Care Act, 2014).

Safeguarding offers a framework used to put appropriate measures in to place to protect people, but if this is the case, why do we as therapists not view it quite in the same way?

Whilst our Social Work colleagues have always been involved in safeguarding, it is something Occupational Therapists appears to be increasingly involved in, and with this in mind, how can we do this, whilst keeping our Occupational values at the core?

This OTalk therefore plans to explore this topic, with the aim of learning from each other.

 

Questions:

-What is your current involvement with safeguarding? (any? Explain).

-How do safeguardings affect current practice?

-Do you feel safeguarding should be part of the Occupational Therapy role, why?

-What systems (if any) are in place currently for you to prevent safeguardings?

-How can we as Occupational Therapist’s positively prevent safeguardings?

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This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Age Appropriate Occupations” and will be hosted by Kirstie Hughes (@Kirstie_OT).

Over the years when I have told people I enjoy building Lego I am met with responses such as “but its for Kids” or “Really, why?” and my answer is always why not?!

At this years Royal College of Occupational Therapist Annual Conference I presented an occupation station to share my love of Lego. I was hugely overwhelmed by demand for my session and the positive feedback with one attendee commenting on how he felt calm and relaxed engaging in occupational flow amongst the busy few days of conference

The queries have often left me thinking about age appropriate occupations in Occupational Therapy and the wider Health and Social Care context. Activities such as Easter bonnet making in residential homes, nursery rhymes in Learning Disabilities and Coloring in mental health services were often looked upon as “not appropriate”. As research in these areas have progressed we have an evidence base for their benefits to health and well being and they are now seen as mainstream activities, but why were they ever seen as inappropriate in the first place?

This chat aims to encourage discussion around age appropriate occupations, what impacts on them and why we stop engaging within adulthood.

Some questions to consider;

1: Do you engage with or participate in any occupations that may not be deemed as “age appropriate”? In addition to Lego building I also play PokemonGo.

2: What was your favourite occupation as a child? What did you gain from it? Do you still participate in it now? If not why not?

3: As OTs we know the importance of meaning in occupation, so does age really matter to us?

4: Is the need to provide a group activity impacting on the options available to us? Does catering for the many reduce meaningful options?

5: Are there any types of occupation based activities you would like to try within your service but have concerns around justifying them? Maybe you have tried some and was successful in your clinical reasoning?

6: Are the any new occupations you would like to try as an adult? Why barriers are there to your participation?

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#OTalk (Research), 2nd July 2019
Testing out the new draft RCOT Research and Development Strategy

This week’s #OTalk is the latest hosted by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) as part of its Research and Development Review, which is now drawing to a conclusion. The Review has provided the opportunity to engage with a range of constituent groups within RCOT’s membership, and to consider how the organisation supports the building of research capacity within the profession and the expansion of the evidence base informing practice. The primary output of the Review is a new RCOT Research and Development Strategy, the draft of which is the focus of this week’s #OTalk.

The chat will be co-hosted by @TheRCOT and @JoWatson22

The RCOT Research and Development (R&D) Review was launched in June 2017. Since then, we have held a series of listening events and consultations around the four nations of the UK and with a wide variety of occupational therapists including: practice-based staff, academics, researchers, service managers, consultant occupational therapists, post-graduate research students, specialist section R&D leads, members of the Council of Occupational Therapy Education Directors (COTED), occupational therapy professors and RCOT staff. We have consulted the literature and related policies across the four nations, reviewed the strategies of similar organisations and undertaken a number of focused projects including: a review of the RCOT Annual Awards, a review of the UK Occupational Therapy Research Foundation, and desk-based research scoping the research knowledge and skills related content of pre-registration education programmes accredited by RCOT.

Approximately 18 months’ work is now culminating in the drafting of the new RCOT Research and Development Strategy 2019-2024, which we anticipate will be published in early autumn 2019. As part of the process of consulting on and testing out the draft strategy, we are sharing key elements with you that we’d like to chat with you about during the #OTalk scheduled for July 2nd 2019.

You can access a summary of the core elements of the draft Research and Development Strategy here: https://www.rcot.co.uk/summary-draft-rcot-research-and-development-strategy-2019-2024

The questions forming the basis of the #OTalk discussion are:

1. Does the direction of travel set out in the draft R&D Strategy seem appropriate? If not, please try to explain why you think that is.

2. Bearing in mind the principle that we can all contribute something small to a larger collective effort, how does the draft R&D Strategy feel for you, in your circumstances?

3. How do you see yourself responding to the strategy? What actions do you think you could take?

4. Is there anything missing that you might have expected to see in draft R&D Strategy?

We are really looking forward to hearing your thoughts which will be very welcome contributions to the development of the new RCOT R&D Strategy.

Thank you.

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This years Royal College of OT Conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June, 2019.  As always delegates are encourage to share their learning and impressions of conference on twitter using #RCOT2019, so if you not at the conference you can still join in the learning.   As most of the #OTalk crew will at this years conference our student intern Carolina will be leading the chat reflecting on what happened, for those travels home or those who joined in the conference via Twitter.

Question will include

Q1 Did you attend this years RCOT conference or follow it on Twitter?

Q2. What was your highlight?

Q3. Will you be changing your practice at all after something you saw or read on Twitter at the conference?

Q4. Did you meet anyone in real life that you only knew on Twitter? How was that?

Q5.  Is there anyone you think we should approach to host a #OTalk chat that you saw at conference?

Q6. What is your take home message?

POST CHAT

Host and OTalk support- Carolina

Online Transcript

#OTalk Transcript June 18th 2019

The Numbers

1.188M Impressions
259 Tweets
69 Participants
10 Avg Tweets/Hour
4 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

Here are the OTalk Crew at this years Conference.

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This years Royal College of OT Conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June, 2019.  As always delegates are encourage to share their learning and impressions of conference on twitter using #RCOT2019, so if you not at the conference you can still join in the learning.   As most of the #OTalk crew will at this years conference our student intern Carolina will be leading the chat reflecting on what happened, for those travels home or those who joined in the conference via Twitter.

Question will include

Q1 Did you attend this years RCOT conference or follow it on Twitter?

Q2. What was your highlight?

Q3. Will you be changing your practice at all after something you saw or read on Twitter at the conference?

Q4. Did you meet anyone in real life that you only knew on Twitter? How was that?

Q5.  Is there anyone you think we should approach to host a #OTalk chat that you saw at conference?

Q6. What is your take home message?

POST CHAT

Host and OTalk support- Carolina

Online Transcript

#OTalk Transcript June 18th 2019

The Numbers

1.188M Impressions
259 Tweets
69 Participants
10 Avg Tweets/Hour
4 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants

Here are the OTalk Crew at this years Conference.

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This week’s chat will be hosted by Louise Clark on behalf of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section for Neurological Practice @RCOT_NP here is what they had to say.

The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) is the national dataset for stroke, widely used in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The aim of the audit is to improve stroke care by measuring the structure and processes of stroke care against evidence based standards, such as the RCP guidelines for stroke (2016). For example this includes length of stay on a stroke unit, time to initial assessment by an occupational therapist, number of days OT delivered as a % of patient stay, number of minutes of therapy delivered on average per day, % of mood and cognition screens completed.

Data collection and entry is a significant feature in stroke unit care and Early Supported Discharge and for some is not always a welcome addition to our workload. However, there are positives to having such a huge database of information and comparisons against other services and national averages…..

The aim of this #OTalk is to explore those positives and think how can best use the information we collect and share ideas regarding meeting the 45 minute therapy target. We are joined for our talk by a member of the SSNAP team (………) and will share tools and signpost to resources/help regarding SSNAP.

This #OTalk has been hosted by Louise Clark from the stroke forum of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists specialist section for Neurological practice, in response to member feedback for topics. We hope you enjoy it and carry on the conversations in your workplace.

1. What do you think are the positives about SSNAP?

2. How do you use the data day to day to plan or improve patient care?

3. People have mixed feelings about the 45 minute therapy target. Why is it important (for patients, therapy services)?

4. What can you do to help meet your 45 minute target?

We would ask participants to look out for 3 short feedback questions posted with the transcript in the week following this #OTalk. We’d really appreciate your feedback in helping us evaluate and plan our sessions.

Future sessions from the stroke forum include;
24th September 2019 – Neglect (with Dr Ailie Turton)
26th November 2019 – Driving (with Paul Graham)
25th February 2020 – Vision (with the British and Irish Orthoptic Society- BIOS

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This weeks topic will explore the role of Occupational Therapy for persons with MND. The chat will be hosted by Lisa Cousins @lisa_mnd_ and MND Education @mndeducation

This is what they had to say:

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a fatal, rapidly progressing neurological condition affecting up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. The disease causes messages from nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that control movement to gradually stop reaching the muscles, leading them to weaken, stiffen and waste.

The result is that people become locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. Some may experience changes in thinking and behaviour, with a proportion experiencing a rare form of dementia. MND does not usually affect senses such as sight, hearing and touch.

MND kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis. It affects people from all backgrounds and a person’s lifetime risk of developing MND around 1 in 300. Today six people will be diagnosed and six will die from MND. There is no cure.

Occupational therapists play a vital role in supporting people with the disease to maximise their quality of life by supporting them to adapt to their changing symptoms and continue to participate in occupations that are important to them. However, supporting people with complex and changing needs, alongside a terminal diagnosis can prove challenging for all involved.  

This #OTalk is being hosted by the MND Association Education and Information Team, and will focus on the role of occupational therapy in MND and the challenges the disease can raise for health and social care professionals. We are really looking forward to hearing about your experiences of working with the disease and creative solutions to the challenges of MND. 

Some questions to get you thinking in preparation for the chat:

  1. What can Occupational Therapists do to help pain management with people living with MND?
  2. What can Occupational Therapists do to help prepare people living with MND for the types of equipment they may need in the future ?
  3. What is the Occupational Therapists role in postural management in MND?
  4. How can Occupational Therapists support social inclusion for people living with MND and their families and carers?
  5. Do Occupational Therapists manage fatigue in MND? (I think people miss this in MND and usually associate it with MS)
  6. Do Occupational Therapists suffer compassion fatigue when working with this client group?
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This months #OTalk Research topic is “ The NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme: a potential opportunity for occupational therapists”. The chat will be host by Chris Lovegrove @CLovegrove_OT Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist (Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital) and Clinical Research Fellow (CRN South West Peninsula) Chris will be tweeting from the ROTTERs Exeter @ROTTERsExeter account for the chat and Dr Jenny Preston MBE @preston_jenny will be on the @OTalk_ account supporting.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) recognises that Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) play a vital role in the delivery of high quality, patient-centered clinical research [1]. As a professional group, AHPs represent the third largest workforce in health & social care and includes Occupational Therapy [2]. Research -active AHPs are at the core of the NIHR mission to support outstanding individuals to conduct leading research focused on the needs of patients and the public [1, 3]. With core principles of participation, meaningful occupation, and holism, occupational therapists are ideally positioned to lead in clinically-relevant frontline research.
In collaboration with Health Education England, the NIHR offer the Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) programme [4]. This multi-level award programme provides personal research training awards for AHPs who wish to develop careers that combine clinical research and research leadership with continued clinical practice and development. The awards range from introductory research internships through to senior clinical lectureships [4]. While the numbers of occupational therapists applying to these schemes are increasing, they remain relatively low compared to other professions [5].
Whether you are an experienced researcher or clinical academic, clinician, or student, please join us for this #OTalk twitter chat and share your ideas and experiences. Suggested talking points and discussion questions to focus the chat:

  1. What are your experiences of the NIHR ICA scheme?
  2. Are you contemplating applying to the scheme?
  3. How long do you think an application takes?
  4. What preparation do you think goes into an application?

References:
[1] https://www.nihr.ac.uk/our-research-community/clinical-research-staff/Allied%20Health%20Professionals/Allied%20Health%20Professionals%20Strategy%202018_20.pdf
[2] https://www.nihr.ac.uk/our-research-community/clinical-research-staff/allied-health-professionals.htm
[3] https://www.nihr.ac.uk/news/makespace4research-campaign-launched-to-encourage-staff-to-increase-research-capacity/11563?diaryentryid=43708
[4] https://www.nihr.ac.uk/our-research-community/NIHR-academy/nihr-training-programmes/nihr-hee-ica-programme/
[5] https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding-and-support/documents/ICA/PCAF/TCC-ICA-PCAF-Round%201-Chairs-Report.pdf

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#OTalk 28th May 2019 – Top Tips for Attending Conference

This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Top Tips for Conference” and will be hosted by our Kirstie Hughes (@Kirstie_OT).

Here is what Kirstie had to say…

Conference is a great experience for many, it offers a chance to learn, share and be inspired. However, for first time attendees, especially those attending alone, it can seem a little daunting and may not even be aware of that goes on at conference.

This chat aims to discuss the benefits of attending conference and what sessions and events people are looking forward to as well as a chance to share some top tips and answer any questions new attendees may have.

We will also have a cheeky little #OTalkonTour announcement at the end……

 Some questions to consider;

 1; Who is attending RCOT conference this year? Are you a regular or a newbie? For those of you not attending, what factors affected your decision?

2; What are you most looking forward to? Has anything from the programme jumped out at you?

3; What did you enjoy most about the last conference you attended and why? (Not just RCOT).

4; For first time attendees, is there anything that you would like to ask or know?

5; For regular conference goers, what are your top tips for first attending conference?

Any newbies might also want to check out the “Friendly Guide to Attending your first Health Professions Conference” from LG Personal Development

https://www.lgpersonaldevelopment.co.uk/2018/04/09/new-friendly-guide-attending-your-first-health-professionals-conference/

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This week’s #OTalk is on the topic of using standardised assessments routinely in practice and will be hosted by Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett (@alisonlaverfaw) from York St John University and Professor Diane Cox (@dianecox61) in the UK.

Here’s what Alison and Diane had to say:

In the early 1990s, as part of her PhD studies, Alison undertook a small survey of occupational therapists to explore their use of standardised and unstandardised assessments with people with neurological diagnoses. Results (n = 29 OTs) indicated that 93% of OT respondents were using informal observation of ADL, rather than standardised assessment, to assess for perceptual deficits (Laver, 1994). Back then there were a limited number of assessments developed by occupational therapists to choose from, but nearly 30 years later many occupational therapists have been involved with the development and evaluation of standardised assessments and we have evidence of their reliability, validity, sensitivity and clinical usefulness. A look through Asher’s (2014) annotated index of occupational therapy assessment tools reveals that occupational therapists now have 100s of tests to choose from, many of which have been developed by occupational therapists. Yet standardised assessments do not appear to be routinely used in all areas of occupational therapy practice. Why is that?

But nearly 20 years later, a survey of 109 Irish occupational therapists (Stapleton and McBreaty, 2009) still found that “..the consistency of [standardised assessment’ use tended to be low. The barriers to a more consistent use of standardised assessments and outcome measures included time restraints, the unsuitability of the available measures and a lack of sensitivity of the available measures to capture the effectiveness of occupational therapy’ (p55).

Whilst, a much larger study of 794 occupational therapists in the USA (Piernik-Yoder and Beck, 2012, p97) found that paediatric occupational therapists used standardised assessments more than colleagues working with adult patients. They reported: ‘With regard to administrating of standardized assessments, 393 (49.5%) respondents reported that the most common modification they make is to administer portions of standardized assessments, whereas 221 (27.9%) indicated they modify the instruction when administering standardized measures. However, 106 (13.4%) respondents specified they administer standardized measures out of the age range for which the measure is intended, and 66 (8.3%) reported they modify test materials.’

Often students returning from placement report that OTs are using an assessment that has been developed ‘in house’ in the service to fit the particular needs of the client group and the service. Or students report a standardised assessment was being using but in a modified form. Why do some OTs need to modify standardised assessments to make them useful in practice?

The College of Occupational Therapists’ (2017) in their ‘Position Statement: Occupational therapists’ use of standardized outcome measures’ encourages the use of standardised measures and states that ‘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.). So why aren’t all occupational therapists using standardised assessments routinely in practice?

Whether you are an experienced researcher, a clinician or a student please join us  for this #OTalk twitter chat and share your ideas and experience.

Suggested talking points and discussion questions to focus our chat:

1. What standardised assessments do your use – why do you choose to use this / these assessments?
2. How often do you use standardised assessments in practice?
3. Do you use standardised assessments routinely/regularly in your practice? Why or why not?
4. Did you go on any training to learn to administer any of the standardised assessment
you use – what test was the training for and what did the training comprise?
5. Do you make modifications to standardised assessments? If yes, is this to the
instructions or to the materials or you use a portion of the assessment, or administer it but don’t use the scoring?
6. What are the barriers to implementing standardised assessments in practice?
7. What factors support you to use standardised assessments regularly in your
practice?

References:
Asher, I E. (2014) Asher’s Occupational Therapy Assessment Tools: An Annotated Index 4 th ed. Bethesda: American Occupational Therapy Association.

Laver, A J. (1994) The Development of the Structured Observational Test of Function (SOTOF) PhD Thesis. Guildford, University of Surrey.

Piernik-Yoder, P., Beck A (2012) The Use of Standardized Assessments in Occupational Therapy in the United State. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 26(2–3):97–108.

Stapleton, T., McBreaty, C. (2009) Use of Standardised Assessments and Outcome Measures among a Sample of Irish Occupational Therapists Working with Adults with Physical Disabilities. British Journal of Occupational Therapists, 72 (2) 55-64. Available from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/030802260907200203 [accessed
17.2.2019]

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