Tweetchat: A cross sectional observational study of research activity of allied health teams - Is there a link with self-reported success, motivators and barriers to undertaking research?

The fifth #ResNetSLT Tweetchat of 2018 took place on Wednesday, 30th May.

The chat was hosted by Elicia Jones (@EllieJSLT) and Victoria Wadsworth (@victoriawad) and was based around this paper: 'A cross sectional observational study of research activity of allied health teams: is there a link with self-reported success, motivators and barriers to undertaking research?'

It was a busy hour with 30 participants joining in and sharing their ideas and experiences of research activities within and as part of teams. Participants presented with a wide range of roles, including those completing research as clinical practitioners and those whose job roles are based in academia and research.

Also, those who had 'some' dedicated time to pursue research and/or were provided with back-fill and those who were working without any ring-fenced allocated 'time' for research. It was great to see so many people engaged in the discussion and from various locations around the world!

Key themes from participants that cropped up throughout the chat around challenges in completing research as a team echoed those cited in the research article and included:
There was some great sharing of ideas and experiences on how some of these challenges have been managed and how motivation has been sustained to complete research within teams.

This included: involving the whole SLT team in the research project, creating a supportive culture for research, acknowledging the need for time to complete and discuss research, working to a deadline and some 'friendly competition' from other research teams, staying in touch with graduates once they've left university, starting with the small stuff in research (e.g. setting up a journal club), find a mentor or someone who is 'one step' ahead in the research journey and demonstrate the impact of what you're researching on you as a clinician.

Most participants who took part in the Tweetchat presented as being motivated to complete research irrespective of the circumstances in which they were doing it, e.g. with or without dedicated time and support, though the extent of this may vary such as setting up journal clubs versus being involved in team or Trust wide projects.

This reflected a key message in the research paper – that intrinsic factors present as being the strongest motivating factors on whether individuals become involved in research and the influence this has on whether a workforce team does too.

However, the fourth and final question highlighted how 62% of participants felt that barriers to conducting clinical research in the workplace outweighed the motivating factors and thus potentially inhibiting AHPs from undertaking research in the workplace. This statistic indicates how there are still improvements that need to be made to support those wanting to undertake research in a clinical role.

If you're registered with RCSLT and you're interested in finding a Research Champion or mentor that might be able to help to support research developments individually or as part of a team then you can access lots of supporting resources on their website.

Here are a few of our favourite tweets of the night – and our Vote result:
- Demystify the process - explain what research looks like, how it can work, funding opportunities available, etc.
- Support ppl to be involved as participants/reviewers/contributors/advisors before they take on their own projects. Share the learning journey.#ReSNetSLT
— Gillian Rudd (@GillianRudd) May 30, 2018

Yes, I totally agree with this. This echoes the idea of mentors, champions, finding kindred 'research' spirits within your organisation. This may involve looking outside of your profession. I liked that this paper was about MDTs #ReSNetSLT
— Katherine Broomfield (@KathBroomfield) May 30, 2018

Fourth and final question. Do you feel that the barriers to conducting clinical research in the workplace outweigh the motivating factors? This one is a Yes/No poll. Please vote below #resnetslt
— ReSNetSLT (@ReSNetSLT) May 30, 2018
To view the full transcript from the Tweetchat please click here.

Please keep the conversation going by sharing links to any other relevant papers and online resources that everyone can access.

You can post a comment here, email or tweet @ReSNetSLT.

Here' s one paper you might like to look at next: Jo Cooke, Susan Nancarrow, Jane Dyas and Martin Williams An evaluation of the 'Designated Research Team' approach to building research capacity in primary care. BMC Family Practice 2008, 9:37 doi:10.1186/1471-2296-9-37.