Friday, 20 April 2018

Tweetchat: Using Twitter to access the human right to communication for people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)



The third #ResNetSLT Tweetchat of 2018 took place on Wednesday 28th March.

The chat was based around the paper: 'Using Twitter to access the human right to communication for people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)'.

It was hosted by Katherine Broomfield (@kathbroomfield) and Elicia Jones (@EllieJSLT). The pre-chat overview and questions can be viewed here.

It was great to see so many people engaged in the conversation, with over 30 actively tweeting and using our hashtag #ReSNetSLT from various places around the world! Our Twitter 'impressions' went up by almost 100,000 which was amazing too, as this indicates the potential reach of our online conversations and exchange of ideas.

There is still some evident uncertainty over whether we should be using social media which was interesting, but probably unsurprising as this is still such new territory.

Thanks to everyone who shared their own experiences of using Twitter including with people who stammer, young people with SLCN, and consideration of using it to support people to increase their social networks following a life changing event.

There was some discussion around the challenges of setting goals and measuring outcomes for SoMe in treatment/clinical intervention. At the end of the night our Twitter poll showed a positive result, although we did have an audience of voters who are clearly positive about using social media, so maybe we should be cautious about this being indicative of a definite trend within the profession for using social media.

There was some interest in the analysis used within the paper. We possibly could have focused on this more. Some people are starting to explore using social media with patients/clients but this doesn't seem to be led by the evidence base (such as the paper discussed).

One person reported a 'trial and error' approach. Maybe some of you will be interested to follow up the references below and write us a short synopsis or viewpoint piece that we can post soon on our blogsite – that would be great!

Here's a couple of our favourite tweets of the night:



There was also a nice example of accessing a Twitter hashtag #actuallyautistic to access perspectives of people with autism.

You can find the link to the full transcript here and our Twitter stats here.

List of related references:

Caron, J., & Light, J. (2015). My world has expanded even though I'm stuck at home: Experiences of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who use augmentative and alternative communication and social media. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24(4), 680-695. DOI: 10.1044/2015_AJSLP-15-0010.

Helen L. Paterson (2017) The use of social media by adults with acquired conditions who use AAC: current gaps and considerations in research, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 33:1, 23-31, DOI: 10.1080/07434618.2016.1275789.

Helen Paterson & Christine Carpenter (2015) Using different methods to communicate: how adults with severe acquired communication difficulties make decisions about the communication methods they use and how they experience them, Disability and Rehabilitation, 37:17, 1522-1530, DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1052575.

Bronwyn Hemsley, Stephen Dann, Stuart Palmer, Meredith Allan & Susan Balandin (2015) “We definitely need an audience”: experiences of Twitter, Twitter networks and tweet content in adults with severe communication disabilities who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), Disability and Rehabilitation, 37:17, 1531-1542, DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1045990.

Please save the date in your diary now for our next chat on April 25th and join the discussion on our next paper selection about implementing research into clinical practice.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Wilkommen! Va bene?

Thank you to Hazel Roddam (@HazelRoddam1) for producing the latest ResNetSLT blog post.

Have you seen all our new international friends who've started joining us on #ReSNetSLT?

It's been exciting to 'tweetmeet' with a growing number of new connections from across mainland Europe. A special warm welcome to Germany and Italy, who have been very active in joining our recent monthly Twitter journal club discussions.

This is such a great opportunity for immediate real-time contact with colleagues with no barriers of geography, or professional discipline.

I've just heard a new phrase today - 'connectography, not geography'. That seems so appropriate for us! Do you like it?

Here's some news about a unique conference in September - watch the video clip to hear more.



We're bringing together practitioners and academics in nursing, midwifery and health sciences from all around Europe to share inspiring examples of applied research to change practice.

Please share the link for this conference and download the event flyer and full programme here. We’d love to see you there! (PS: Yes, we'll be in Germany but the conference language is English).

Thanks to all the willing volunteers in our new ResNetSLT Action Group. We've had a great start to the year with lots more regular posts on our blogsite.

These viewpoint pieces are a great way to share personal experiences and reflections about getting involved in clinical research. Posting photos helps us feel we're getting to know each other too.

Who's going to be the first to start posting comments in reply to continue our conversations?

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Tweetchat: Allied health research positions: a qualitative evaluation of their impact



The second ResNetSLT Tweetchat of 2018 took place on Wednesday, 28th February.

The chat was hosted by Amy Hilton and Hazel Roddam and was based on this paper: 'Allied health research positions: a qualitative evaluation of their impact'.

The findings in this research highlight the value of allied health profession (AHP) clinical research positions. Please click here to view to pre-chat overview and questions.

We had 21 people actively tweeting and using our hashtag #ResNetSLT, with many others also watching and retweeting the conversations. There were 238 tweets in total during the hour, with a 'reach' to over 213,000 linked Twitter accounts.

Thanks so much to Caroline Bowen in Australia for saying 'hello' at the start of our chat. It was really exciting to hear comments from Germany and Italy, sharing their experiences from differing work settings.

It seems that there are still only a small number of allied health research positions established in UK practice settings, but there was a general consensus that such research roles could help to promote credibility, reputation and networks with other professions.

One of the main themes discussed was the challenge of balancing clinical and research roles. There were multiple threads reflecting some potential ways to address strategic level barriers, and to promote wider support for clinical academic posts in allied health.

Only a few days after our chat, the Council for Allied Health Professions Research (CAHPR) launched their latest publication 'Top Tips for Enabling Research Activity'.

This free resource is available to download here and share with your colleagues and managers at work. Let us know what you think when you've seen it.

This paper was particularly timely to help us consider a range of ways that we can offer peer-support and mentorship in clinical academic research. Thanks to everyone who generously shared your personal experiences and advice.

Thanks also to @RCSLTResearch who are hosting meetings over the summer for us to look at how we can maximise these opportunities for developing learning communities to support clinical academic research roles.

You can find the link to the full transcript here and our Twitter stats here.

Save the date in your diary now for our next chat on Wednesday, 28th March, and join the discussion on our next paper selection about using Twitter in clinical practice.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

My experience (so far) of a clinical-academic research role

Thank you to Millie Heelan (@heelan_phd) for producing the latest ResNetSLT blog post.

In October 2016 I took up an opportunity of a clinical doctoral research fellowship.

This involves four years of funding to work two days a week as part of an adult acute SLT team and three days a week conducting a PhD study.

Further information on conducting a clinical doctoral research fellowship can be found here.

This opportunity has been a great learning curve to date, embracing the academic world, research methods and meeting an inspiring range of people interested in changing future practice for our patients.

One thing that is very important when conducting a PhD, as well as in clinical practice, is keeping up to date and knowledgeable about research happening in your area. Here are a few ideas to remain current within your field:
  1. Get in touch with your trust library service. They are experts in creating the right search terms. They will help to successfully find publications to help answer your clinical/research questions. Most also run courses on critical appraisal too.
  2. Sign up to database alerts such as google scholar. You can allow relevant publications to be sent straight to your inbox based on the search terms you choose.
  3. Use Twitter and find key people to follow in your field. They will post links to research papers and links to others who are working on similar topics. Sometimes you find out about projects before anything has been published.
Follow @ClinAcSLT and @ResNetSLT for updates from fellow SLTs. Are there any other ways of keeping up to date with literature that you use?

Please comment below or Tweet us at @ResNetSLT.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Tweetchat: Thinking together - What makes Communities of Practice work?



The first #ResNetSLT Tweetchat of 2018 took place on Wednesday, 31st January.

The chat was based around the paper 'Thinking together: What makes Communities of Practice work?' and was hosted by Sally Pratten (@salpratten) and Lucy Benjamin (@lucybenjaminSLT).

The paper discusses the development of 'Communities of Practice' (CoPs) of healthcare practitioners, and how these work effectively. Two case studies of communities of practice were considered - one thriving and high achieving, and the other less successful. The pre-chat questions can be viewed here.

The chat drew 37 participants from Gloucestershire, Bristol, London, Surrey and the North West of England. The hour sped by, with a very lively discussion of the highly topical chosen paper about CoP.

The first and last questions seemed to elicit the most discussions - people seemed to be more engrossed in discussion during questions two and three and actually naturally seemed to move on to these without much prompting.

There was an overall consensus on a number of points:
  • The importance of social media in widening access to CoPs
  • Difficulty in how you define spontaneous CoPs and how you label them
  • General impression that structured/organised CoPs could be the start of more spontaneous interactions and community building
You can find the link to the full transcript here and our Twitter stats here. There were 275 tweets in total during the hour, with a 'reach' to almost 300,000 linked Twitter accounts. A fab start to our year!

During the chat a lot of people confirmed that they related to both ResNetSLT and Clinical Academics in SLT as meaningful personal Communities of Practice.

These groups have both recently started to generate this sense of community through Twitter, but are currently developing other additional platforms and processes for communication and information sharing.

Save the date in your diary now for our next chat on February 28th to hear everyone's comments on the paper about clinical-academic roles.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Happy New Year from the 2018 ResNetSLT Action Group

Thank you to Sophie Chalmers (@SChalmersSLT) for producing our first blog post of the year:

We start the year by bringing you 'ResNetSLT Wednesdays', providing regular updates for research news you will definitely not want to miss.

With a dedicated group of 23 members, we have exciting plans for 2018 with monthly 'Tweetchats' discussing a range of interesting papers related to implementing the evidence-base in clinical practice.

Join the chat on Twitter on the last Wednesday of every month 7.30-8.30pm UK time. We'll be posting some questions in advance each month, with the link to the paper, plus a summary posted afterwards on our blog site.

You can also keep up to date with our additional news blogs every second Wednesday of the month. And hopefully we'll start to see some comments being added in response – please feel free to join in.

Have you made your New Year's Resolutions?

Personally, I do not usually set myself New Year's resolutions however 2018 is going to be quite different: to be the active 'tweeter'!

I have used Twitter on a professional level to follow Twitter discussions, clinicians, academics and SLT services. I begrudgingly admit however that I have been quite the 'passive' tweeter, often observing from afar and retweeting comments that resonate with me.

I have however observed the fast-paced, lively conversations that develop on Twitter allowing the speech and language therapy community to collaborate and discuss topics pertinent to our practice.

Sound familiar? What better way than to use ResNetSLT Wednesdays as an interactive platform to become more 'hands on' and involved in conversations about how clinicians can implement research into clinical practice.

It's fine to just 'listen in' to the Tweetchats, but it would be great if you'll say 'hello' and let us know you're there – especially if you're joining for the first time.

And don't be shy to ask a question - it's a really great chance to find out what other people think, and what they do to engage more in research in their own practice.

As a member of the new Action Group I'm excited for the year ahead of ResNetSLT Wednesdays to hear other peoples' thoughts about implementing research into clinical practice, expand my knowledge and perhaps pick up some tips on the way.