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CAHPR East Anglia Conference 2021: Nailing Dissemination

A summary of the event by Lynsey Spillman, CAHPR East Anglia facilitator

What a fantastic online conference on the morning of Saturday 15th May 2021!  We had a great turn out with seven out of 14 AHP professions represented, including diagnostic radiographers, therapeutic radiographers, dietitians, paramedics, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, and speech and language therapists.

The focus of the conference was disseminating research. The East Anglia hub lead, Dr Ruth Strudwick, opened the morning with a warm welcome to all attendees. We were lucky to have three great speakers all presenting on the topic of dissemination.

Professor Dave Muller, Editor in Chief for Disability and Rehabilitation journal, shared insight on the process of choosing a journal, writing and submitting an article and how to increase the chance of getting it accepted.

Adam Devine, Academic Skills Advisor at the University of Suffolk, guided us through designing great academic poster, working through examples of good and not so good posters until reaching one that deserved the ‘Paul Hollywood Handshake’.

Karen Ainley, CEO of Mosiac Media Training and Mosiac Publicity, let us in on the secrets to the perfect presentation including great story telling, how to engage your audience and handling those dreaded tricky questions.

First prize for oral research presentations was awarded to Larissa Prothero, Advanced Research Paramedic, for the KARMA2 study.

There were four inspiring short research presentations from AHPs within East Anglia. Professor Muller kindly judged the presentations, and his feedback was read out by Dr Strudwick, at the awards ceremony towards the end of the conference:

These were four varied and well presented research presentations. All four projects are at different stages. Larissa and Carol presented research protocols, Marilyn outlined the findings from her qualitative study and Tom walked through his published systematic review.

Larissa has highlighted a very challenging research project and presented a very well thought through design. The overall process is complex but the outcomes extremely important.

Carol’s aim is to enhance the research culture in the NHS and has found a published tool with which to collect initial data. This should turn out to be an excellent first step.

Marilyn focused on a very important applied research question from a relatively small pool of eligible participants. The methodology selected is sound and the initial findings are valuable.

Tom outlined how to provide an answer comparing two different types of intervention by undertaking a systematic review.  The fact that it has already been published is testimony to the quality.

All four are worthy of being winners. However I have selected the project by Larissa and her team primarily as the design of the research is extremely complex and it is clear that a great deal of time has been spent successfully working this through. I have therefore focused on methodology and what I judge to be the most sophisticated and difficult to bring together.

First prize for poster presentation was awarded to Olivia Castle, physiotherapist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Olivia presented the results of her 2020 systematic literature review which examined physiotherapy programmes following botulinum toxin injections in children with cerebral palsy. She detailed her methods and results clearly and applied the findings to practice, recognising the value of physiotherapy in delaying a more invasive intervention. Visually, her poster was appealing, making good use of contrasting colours and was well-structured.

Special mention was also given to Rebecca Impson, Kate Harrall and Sarah Fowler, a multidisciplinary team of AHPs at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, who came a very close second place. They evaluated patient perspectives of an AHP led post-discharge covid-19 telephone follow up service. This was an excellent example of multidisciplinary research on a contemporary topic. We liked the use of qualitative quotes, with results highlighting both positive and negative experiences of the service.

All poster authors were invited to present their research orally at a CAHPR East Anglia research evening. All conference posters can be viewed at:

As an attendee I learnt a lot at this conference and it has fueled my AHP-research-fire, I am very grateful for the time and effort of the CAHPR East Anglia committee with organising such a great event and for all the presenters and attendees who made the morning so engaging and inspiring. Bring on #CAHPREastAnglia conference 2022 and the quarterly research evenings!

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