#Physiotalk: Understanding the impact of participating in a social media community 22nd Aug

We are are planning a slightly different tweetchat for Monday 22nd August – at the usual time of 8pm BST. That’s because we are using this chat to start our research on the impact that Physiotalk has had on your CPD. We are primarily using Twitter via a tweetchat to undertake the research (of course!). If you take part in the chat on the 22nd August then you will have given implied consent to take part in our research. Because of this we are asking you all to read the research participant information that is below prior to the chat:


Physiotalk (who are Naomi McVey, Janet Thomas and Rory Twogood) would like to invite you to take part in a research study called ‘Physiotalk – Understanding the impact of participating in a social media community’. Physiotalk tweetchats have been running for over 2 years and it is important to evaluate what the impact in taking part in chats has been for people who have participated. We are collaborating with Queen Margaret University in this research, with advice on research design, analysis and interpretation from Dr. Cathy Bulley, Reader at the university.


To enable you to consider whether you would like to take part we would like to explain about the research project and how it is to be conducted. If you do decide to take part then your participation would be voluntary and you can contribute as little or as much as you like to the research.

The aim of the research is to explore the impacts of taking part in Physiotalk Tweetchats on continual professional development and professional practice, from participants’ perspectives.

Stage one of the research

The first stage of the research will use a tweetchat on the 22nd August to explore questions around your participation in a physiotherapy tweetchat (Physiotalk) and what the outcomes of this have been from your personal perspective.

The tweetchat questions will include:

What does Physiotalk mean to you’

‘How do you use Physiotalk?’

‘What prompts you to participate in physiotalk activities?’

‘What affects your participation in physiotalk activities?’

Has taking part in Physiotalk impacted on or contributed to your CPD?’

Has taking part in Physiotalk impacted on your practice?’


If you participate in the tweetchat then your consent to take part in the research will be implied: this stance will be reiterated at the start of the chat and at intervals throughout the chat.  The responses from the tweetchat will be collected as a transcript and analysed for emerging themes.

Stage two of the research (after the tweetchat)

The second stage of the research will allow participants to more fully respond via Twitter, or by Direct messaging or Email if you wish your response to be seen only by the research team. This response will be your fuller personal response following the tweetchat about what taking part in a physiotherapy based tweetchat has meant for your practice and CPD. The researchers may also add supplementary questions following any insights gained from the first stage of the research. If you choose to respond in this manner, then as with stage one your consent to participate will be implied following receipt of your tweet, direct message or email. There will be a further blog posting around this after the 22nd August.

Am I eligible to take part?

You are eligible to participate in either or both stages of the research if you have had any interaction with a tweetchat; this includes posting a tweet during a chat, following during the chat, but not posting any tweets in response (‘lurking’) reading the transcript following the chat or reading the pre or post chat information on www.physiotalk.co.uk

What will be the benefit of taking part for me?

There will be no direct benefit from taking part in the research for participants. However, it will increase insights into accessible and effective methods of promoting and maintaining continuing professional development, with potential indirect benefits to patients and to professional morale.

Will my responses be private?

As Twitter is a public space, then if you participate in stage one of the research then your responses will be in the public domain. You can choose a method of response for stage two which allows your responses to remain private and only seen by the research team. These responses will be received via Email or Twitter (Direct messaging). The email account and Twitter account are password protected with only the research team having access. The content will be also stored on a password protected ‘One Drive’ site with only the researchers having access.

The research will be presented for publication to appropriate journals and professional conferences, but no participants will be identified in these publications.

Can I withdraw from the study?

Any participant can withdraw from the study at any time without any reason given. If you wish to remove your responses from the study analysis at any stage then you should email physiotalk@outlook.com stating the method in which you have participated (your @twittername or email) and all your responses will be removed from the study and subsequent analysis. Your tweets will remain in the public domain unless you choose the delete your tweets.

Ethical approval

The study has received ethical approval from Queen Margaret University Ethics Committee (REP0133)

Tweetchat support

The chat transcript

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