Friday, 7 July 2017

Exciting opportunity to be involved in ResNetSLT project

ResNetSLT is a unique online research community for SLTs at all stages of their career.

We are launching a ResNetSLT Action Group in September 2017, to develop new initiatives for the future and to ensure sustainability.

We'd like to hear from anyone who is interested to get involved in helping us.

This could be brief news and commentary items for our blogsite or planning and running our Twitter chats (#ResNetSLT).

Please spread the word that this is an exciting chance to get involved and to add to your CV.

All expressions of interest are very welcome – and we would really love to have at least one student SLT or new graduate in our group.

So if you would like to know more about joining us and can commit for one year, please contact Hazel Roddam by 31st August 2017.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

A successful first year for #ResNetSLT

Our monthly Twitter #ResNetSLT Journal Club which began in January 2016 has been a great success.

Nine papers have been discussed during the year, with up to 47 participants being involved in the chats.

Please click here for a summary of the papers discussed and the stats of the impact and reach to linked Twitter accounts.

The highest to date was almost 750,000 accounts from a one hour Tweetchat.

The engagement with our online Journal Club has shown that geography is no barrier, with people joining us from Australia as well as several countries in mainland Europe.

We've also been delighted that people from many other professions have joined our discussions – and that's the message that everyone is welcome.

On several occasions the paper authors have joined the discussions – a feature that we hope to continue next year.

Each month we've either chosen an open access paper, or been able to negotiate with the relevant publishers for them to provide a direct link to our selected paper. Many thanks to all the publishers who've generously helped us with this.

We've posted this on our blogsite, along with a summary of what the paper says, and questions to prompt discussion and debate.

After the Tweetchats we've also posted a summary of the key discussion themes onto our news feed on the blogsite, as we want to share these messages as widely as possible, especially for colleagues who are not (yet) on Twitter.

In February we were delighted that the ResNetSLT blogsite was awarded 'Site of the Month' by Professor Caroline Bowen (@speech_woman).

Our first #ResNet_Rendevous took place in August – that was an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting for colleagues attending the International Association of Phoniatrics and Logopedics (IALP) conference in Dublin.

Tweeting live from that conference event also proved to be a really great way for others to keep updated if they weren't able to attend themselves. It would be great to do this again in the future – please let us know your suggestions.

Thanks to everyone for joining in, it's been an exciting first year and we've learned a lot about online discussion events. Hopefully we will continue to refine and improve the #ResNetSLT chats.

A special word of thanks is due to Dr Joanne Fillingham and Dr Emma Pagnamenta for all their help in getting us started, as well as @RCSLTResearch.

If you have any suggestions for papers you'd like to discuss please let us know.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Cochrane UK launch new campaign

Cochrane UK have launched an 'Understanding Evidence' campaign looking at common errors and misunderstandings, resources and initiatives that can help with making sense of evidence and highlighting opportunities to get involved with others with an interest in evidence.

Please click here for more information.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

#ResNet_Rendevous a big success

In place of our usual monthly #ResNetSLT Journal Club Tweetchat in August, the IALP Conference in Dublin provided an exciting opportunity for some face-to-face meetings.

We used the hashtag #ResNet_Rendezvous to co-ordinate meetings linked to @IALPDublin2016 workshops on the theme of EBP and promoting practice-based and practice-led clinical research.

It was great to meet new contacts and we had such amazing support from the Irish host association @IASLT - special thanks to Adrian Bradley, Aoife McGuire and Pauline Ackermann.

It was also lovely to meet up with Margaret Walshe, Rena Lyons, Arlene McCurtin, Yvonne Wren and so many others too.

Our #ReSNet_Rendezvous 'tweet meets' also proved to work well as twitter clinics – we're all learning together and it's great to be able to share tips we've picked up.

A warm welcome in particular to Linda Schrey, Weibke Schraff and Maria Vlassopoulos.

It was great that we also managed to keep in touch throughout the week with some other colleagues who weren't able to come to Dublin, and who reported that the tweets we shared helped them to at least have a flavour of this really great conference.

Over the week there were more than 1,000 delegates from 57 different countries.

There was a vibrant programme of keynote lectures, plenary sessions, free papers, research posters, and exhibitions - in addition to a stream of working party reports and forums, including an important focus on the WHO and International Communication Project developments.

The over-riding impression of the event was of a deeply shared commitment to promoting clinical excellence through evidence-based practice.

Thank you @IALPDublin2016.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Tweetchat: 'That doesn't translate’ - the role of evidence-based practice in disempowering speech pathologists in acute aphasia management

Our seventh Tweetchat 'That doesn't translate’: the role of evidence-based practice in disempowering speech pathologists in acute aphasia management’ took place on Wednesday 27th July.

We were delighted by the reach of the chat, hosted by Dr Hazel Roddam, with 37 participants sending 251 tweets that were delivered to 126,391 linked accounts.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and followed the chat. Participants included SLTs from across the UK and in Australia as well as other AHPs.

We know that people from other EU countries were also watching the conversation. We were particularly delighted that a number of people joined the Tweetchat for the first time – hope you enjoyed it!

The paper reports an exploratory study of speech and language therapists working in Australia with patients who have acute aphasia and it uncovered some startling insights into the direct impact of professionals' values and attitudes on their clinical practice.

The SLTs in this study reported feeling so overwhelmed by the published research literature that this generated a resistance to reading or applying any of the evidence.

This sense that the principles of EBP effectively made the clinicians feel disempowered needs to be urgently addressed in pre-registration clinical education, as well as through continuing education with qualified clinicians.

There also remains a challenging question of whether these same findings would be generated with groups of SLTs working with other clinical populations, or in other countries? And to what extent these themes may be identified within other groups of AHPs?

We began the chat by discussing that up until now most published reports indicated that SLTs and other healthcare professionals stated positive attitudes to EBP.

This is an important paper because it reveals deeper insights into alternative perspectives of EBP. This matches with a recent survey of UK SLT's conducted by the RCSLT.

Many of our Tweetchat participants agreed that these findings matched with their own experiences. A discussion took place about implications of this for pre and post qualification training.

Some interesting conversations were started about comparisons in EBP teaching in Australia and the UK.

Many people suggested that an important way forward is for clinical therapists to work together with academics in practice based and practice led research.

We also need to understand better the importance of implementation research designs and strategies that can more effectively support embedding of EBP in clinical practice.

The chat was based around this article - we would like to thank @IJLDC for making this paper open access for the next four weeks from the date of the Tweetchat.

You can find the pre-chat information and questions here.

The transcript can be found here and the stats/analytics are here.

Suggested reading/further references

Fostering implementation of health services research findings into practice: a consolidated framework for advancing implementation science.

Knowledge Translation in Health Care: Moving from Evidence to Practice.

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (2010). Ottawa Model of Research Use: A Framework for Adopting Innovations. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University. (Updated 30 August, 2010).

Monday, 18 July 2016

Tweetchat: Are your treatment decisions evidence or craft-based?

Our sixth #ResNetSLT Tweetchat 'Are your treatment decisions evidence or craft-based?' took place on Wednesday 29th June.

Hosted by Mark Jayes and Dr Emma Pagnamenta the chat was based around this article. You can find the pre-chat information and questions here.

It was another lively chat with 28 participants, 268 tweets and a potential reach of 171,046. Thank you to everyone who contributed and followed the discussion.

The inspiration for the chat came from a study carried out by McCurtin & Clifford in 2015 who asked SLTs in Ireland about how they make treatment decisions.

Current understanding of EBP suggests we make decisions using evidence from four sources: i) research; ii) practice - our own and our colleagues' clinical experience; iii) individual patient characteristics; iv) contextual information.

The survey results suggested that the SLTs who responded make treatment decisions using evidence from two main sources: clinical experience (e.g. 'craft' knowledge) and contextual or pragmatic factors (e.g. resource availability).

We began the chat by discussing the role of clinical experience in our treatment decisions. There was agreement on the importance of experience but discussion about how this is integrated with clinical supervision, training, reflection and evidence.

Whilst participants recognised the vital importance of reflective practice, a concern was raised that we may not allow ourselves enough time to engage effectively in reflection.

It was suggested that clinical and student supervision can provide an opportunity for reflection but that we need to incorporate reflection within our daily practice.
Interesting comments were made around how different experiences will lead to different practices, and how the availability of evidence can help to unify practice. But what do we mean by evidence?

There was discussion around whether clinical experience and knowledge can be considered as a form of evidence and the need for this to be backed up by research.

Participants recognised that clinical knowledge represents more than individual opinion.

The absence of evidence was also highlighted and how this acts as a driver for collecting practice-based evidence. Linked to this, one participant raised the issue of innovative practice, which may not have an existing evidence base.

It was agreed that it is important to establish the effectiveness of such practice using evidence from both clinical practice and research studies.

A strong theme was the need for SLTs to engage in shared decision making with patients, clients and 'agents of change' (e.g., carers, teachers). Participants identified that being able to present evidence about treatment options and enable clients to make decisions can feel challenging.

Evidence-based shared decision making tools such as decision aids can support us to do this. A useful online resource can be found here.

Participants reported that treatment decisions can be affected/restricted by local patterns of practice, resource availability and commissioning decisions.

There was agreement that SLTs can and should use evidence to try to challenge/change existing situations.
Suggestions of how to support implementation of evidence into practice were shared, such as journal clubs, clinical research projects, MDT training, RCSLT CENs and regional Hubs, ASHNs and CAHPR hubs.

A number of online resources were also identified, including the RCSLT evidence-based clinical decision-making tool, new AHP evidence summaries from Cochrane Evidence for Everyday Allied Health and a site that promotes critical thinking about interventions.

The chat ended with a discussion about the interplay between developing the craft of therapy alongside learning to become an evidence-based clinician. This tweet sums up the chat:
The link to the full transcript is here and the analytics here.

Suggested reading/further references

Cheung, G., Trembath, D., Arciuli, J. & Togher, L. (2013) The impact of workplace factors on evidence-based speech-language pathology practice for children with autism spectrum disorders, International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15 (4), 396-406, DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2012.714797

Foster, A., Worrall, L. & Rose, M. (2015) "That Doesn't Translate": The Role of Evidence-Based Practice in Disempowering Speech Pathologists in Acute Aphasia Management. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 50 (4), 547-563.

McCurtin, A. & Roddam, H. (2012) Evidence-Based Practice: SLTs under Siege or Opportunity for Growth? The Use and Nature of Research Evidence in the Profession. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 47 (1), 11-26.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Tweetchat: So good to be involved - PPI in research

Our fifth Tweetchat 'So good to be involved: PPI in research' took place on Wednesday 25th May.

We were delighted by the reach of the chat, hosted by Dr Rebecca Palmer and Dr Emma Pagnamenta, with 37 participants sending 482 tweets that were delivered to 728,787 linked accounts.

We were particularly pleased by the interdisciplinary nature of the chat and the involvement of #whywedoresearch. Thank you to everyone who contributed and followed the chat.

Patient and public involvement (PPI) is promoted at all stages of research, with everyone having a right to be involved.

However, the high level of communication skills often required precludes the involvement of people with communication difficulties.

We began the chat by sharing examples of how patients/service users are being involved in research. Many different ways of involving patients and the public were shared.

These ranged from advisory groups, inputting to study materials, giving research ideas, using video conversation, observation, focus groups and art projects.

Some projects have trained people with communication difficulties to be interviewers.

There was agreement that PPI needs to happen from the very start of the research process. As stated during the conversation - if we don't involve patients in design how do we know we are researching what is needed?

A discussion took place about the similarities between PPI and use of co-production methods in research. It was suggested that co-production of new interventions or assessment tools etc could be part of a PPI group role.

The benefits of involving our services users can be profound. Contributors to the chat talked about better quality research - research running more smoothly, greater insight into needs and priorities and a greater commitment to the research.

There are benefits beyond the research itself, with PPI giving opportunities to practice conversation skills, an opportunity to be listened to, social time and support for carers.

But PPI is not without its challenges. Patients need support to engage with the research process, form transport provision and flexibility in location and timing to strategies to support communication and support with waiting for AAC users to respond.

Research needs to be explained in accessible terms. There needs to be an acceptance from the researchers that their needs and patients needs and priorities do not always match.
Advice was shared to overcome some of the barriers to PPI such as applying to local NIHR Research Design Services for funds to cover transport expenses or building in these costs from the outset. Flexibility and being adaptable were also discussed.

An important theme from the discussion was the investment in building relationships, maintaining these and giving back when participants need advice.

Here are two of our favourite tweets to sum up the chat:

The Tweetchat was based around this article.

Reflections on participating in the research group were elicited through videoed interviews. You can see some of the interviews in this film.

You can find the pre-chat information and questions here.

The link to the full transcript is here and the analytics here.

Suggested reading/further references

Harrison & Palmer (2015). Exploring patient and public involvement in stroke research: a qualitative study. Disabil Rehabil, 37 (23): 2174-83.

View this film from the CACTUS Aphasia Research Group.

Read Chris Welburn's first hand account of being involved in shaping aphasia research as a person with aphasia.

INVOLVE hosts a research library on public involvement, a 'Putting it into Practice' database and other resources.