Tuesday, 15 May 2018

ResNetSLT presentations at 10th European Congress of Speech and Language Therapy

Our #ResNetSLT workshop on 12th May attracted a packed room of approximately 60 delegates from many different countries.

The show of hands indicated a high number of student SLTs (#SLT2B) in the audience, together with educators, clinical practitioners and researchers.

Please click here to access a copy of the presentation slides that include links for other relevant resources and recommendations for many names to follow on Twitter.

We briefly explained how the #ResNetSLT Twitter journal club runs, and that a German version has been launched. We heard about plans for a new journal club on Twitter between Netherlands and Sweden, and #ResNetSLT offered some advice and assistance based on our experience over the past two years.

It was great to hear that SLT students and practitioners are increasingly using Twitter in many languages to share research and professional discussions – as well as other social media platforms.

For anyone interested in getting started on Twitter for the first time, or for helpful hints on making the most of using Twitter to network with professional colleagues, we highly recommend the WeCommunities site.

Thanks to everyone who attended this workshop – we collected lots of new Twitter names and will add them to our contacts list on this blogsite very soon.

You'll also want to look at the slides from the oral paper presented by Professor Bronwyn Hemsley and Dr Hazel Roddam on 11th May - 'Using Twitter to Find Credible Sources and Build Research Communities: the #ResnetSLT Community'.

#ResNetSLT tweets were captured using SPREDFAST and the analysis comprised frequency counts plus content coding. This demonstrated the growth of activity over time and indicated the nature of our tweetchat discussions includes predominantly:
  • Building an identity as a researcher or clinician-researcher
  • Research cultures, training, and funding
  • Benefits and limitations of using Twitter for finding credible sources and research-themed discussions
Many thanks to Bronwyn (@BronwynHemsley) for working with us on this analysis – and for her ongoing support to #ReSNetSLT.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Why get involved in research whilst studying?

Thank you to Chiara Vivaldi (@VivaldiC) for producing the latest ResNetSLT blog post.

As a full-time speech and language therapy student I know there are a million and one things to stay on top of (and I'm doing the undergraduate course, I can't imagine what it's like for Masters students!)

So why would you want to add getting involved in research to the list?

In my case, one reason I have chosen speech and language therapy as a career is the possibility of combining clinical and academic practice, of placing yourself at the exciting and complicated juncture where academic research meets clinical practice.

I've been involved in two research projects so far, which have each required only a relatively little of my time. On the practical side, being involved has honed my assessment scoring skills (never a bad skill to practice), and given me a sense of the logistics of running a research project. The research academics have always been more than willing to answer any questions.

On a more personal level, I've found it really motivating and exciting to be there when the outcome data was collated for the first time, and glimpsing the potential difference this study could make to people's lives, and the avenues it opens for future research and clinical practice.

Now I’m aware that not all intervention studies result in improved outcomes, but that doesn’t take away from the excitement of being involved in a process that collaboratively and accumulatively leads to better outcomes.

The result is that I've signed myself up to volunteer for another research project next year, and this time I'll be the one doing the assessments. I hope I've convinced some of you to dip your toe into research too!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Tweetchat: An introduction to implementation science for the non-specialist

The fourth #ResNetSLT Tweetchat of 2018 took place on Wednesday, 25th April.

The chat was hosted by Amy Hilton (@AmySlt) and Sally Morgan (@sallymorganslt) and was based around this paper: 'An introduction to implementation science for the non-specialist'. The pre-chat overview and questions can be viewed here.

The Tweetchat was very fast-paced, with many threads of conversations occurring simultaneously with representation from SLT students, SLTs at different careers stages, as well as those working in research, and participants from other countries.

The average number of tweets was the highest number so far this year, potentially indicating the level of interest and engagement in the topic. Our Twitter 'impressions' were again over 300,000, with continued reach evident across the world, including an Australian contingent the following day.

It seemed those with a research background were familiar with the term 'implementation science' as a minimum. However, those with a predominantly clinical backgrounds, and students, had not necessarily heard of implementation science before reading this article.

There was much discussion of barriers to implementing evidence based practice with the factors of time and resources, a prominent theme. There was also a discussion of the potential need for culture and policy level changes and challenge to thinking that new things are 'scary'.

There were some nice examples of people trying to use EBP in practice, and the recognition that implementation science could help in achieving this.

There was plenty of sharing of resources during the chat, both of articles related to implementation science, and of wider reading plus the recommendation of a new hashtag to follow for those interested in this area #ImpSci.

Here are a few of our favourite tweets of the night:

The final question helped to summarise the Tweetchat, and provided ideas of one action participants were going to take following the discussion.

Have you read the article or did you take part in the chat? Have you implemented your plan?

For some it was to read and reflect further, so please click here to take a look at various additional resources, many shared on the night.

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

And of course, please save the date in your diary now for our next chat on Wednesday, 25th May (7.30pm), with Elicia Jones (@EllieJSLT) and Victoria Wadsworth (@victoriawad) hosting.

The discussion will be based on research activity of allied health teams.

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.