LIVE on the Sport Physiotherapy Canada Facebook Page, I welcome Dr. Christian Barton on the show to preview his lecture for the Third World Congress of Sports Physical Therapy in Vancouver, Canada. Dr Christian Barton is a physiotherapist who graduated with first class Honours from Charles Sturt University in 2005, and completed his PhD focusing on Patellofemoral Pain, Biomechanics and Foot Orthoses in 2010. Dr Barton’s broad research disciplines are biomechanics, running-related injury, knee pathology, tendinopathy, and rehabilitation, with a particular focus on research translation. Dr Barton has published over 40 papers in Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation and Biomechanics journals, and he is an Associate Editor for the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
In this episode, we discuss:
-The inspiration behind TREK Education
-Different mediums that facilitate knowledge translation from researchers to clinicians and patients
-Common misconceptions around running and injury prevention
-The good and bad surrounding social media and knowledge translation
-And so much more!
For more information on Christian:
Dr. Christian Barton, APAM, is both a researcher and clinician treating sports and musculoskeletal patients in Melbourne. He is a postdoctoral research fellow and the Communications Manager at the La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre. Christian’s research is focussed on the knee, running injuries and knowledge translation including the use of digital technologies. He has written and contributed to a multitude of peer-reviewed publications and is a regular invited speaker both in Australia and internationally. He also runs courses on patellofermoral pain and running injury management in Australia, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. He is on the board of the Victorian branch of the Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Association, and a guest lecturer at La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne.
Christian is currently studying a Master of Communication, focussing on journalism innovation. He is an Associate Editor and Deputy Social Media Editor at the British Journal of Sports Medicine, as well as Associate Editor at Physical Therapy in Sport.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:00 Hey everybody, welcome to our live broadcast. I'm just going to take a look quickly on my phone to make sure that we are in fact live, which I think we are. Yes. Great. All right, so we're live, which is awesome. All right, so thanks to people who are already on and thank you to my guest, Christian Barton, coming all the way in from Australia. So it is my times as you're watching this. It's 9:30 New York time. So Christian, what time is it in Australia right now?
Christian Barton: 00:37 11:30 in the morning. That's quite a nice time to do this.
Karen Litzy: 00:43 Yeah. So we're doing this over two different days, so Tuesday for me and Wednesday for you. So crazy. But anyway, thanks for taking the time out to come on to chat with us. So for all the people who are on right now and for as we go through, if you have questions, you can type them in the comments, we can see them and we'll be able to address them as we go along. But before we get started, Christian, what I would love for you to do is just to tell the viewers and the listeners a little bit more about you and how you got to where you are now.
Christian Barton: 01:18 Yeah, sure. So I'm a physiotherapist by background have been for nearly 15 years now. So it's getting on. I've always had an interest in research and clinical practice and continuing to try and juggle the two. And that probably started from the very beginning. I finished my undergrad course and well tried to find a position to do some research assistant work on clinical trials and things like that. And quickly my mentors taught me to do your PhD and actually started that about a year and a half out. And so I did that quite early in my career and probably since then I've been probably a mix of half, half clinic and research. So along the way, probably as I've gone through more recently doing more and more research because it gets harder to keep the research, you can do bigger picture things, which is something I've become really passionate about and I'll talk more about later.
Christian Barton: 02:05 And so currently I work three main roles. One is my own clinic in Melbourne, which is a sports and an injury clinic. And we work one day a week there and then also work at the Trobe university three days a week. And my main research focus areas around there it's translation and implementation. And then the past couple of years have been doing one day a week with a surgical group. So the Department of Surgery, it's in Newton's hospital in Melbourne and there big project or area of research is around preventing inappropriate surgery. So that aligns very well with what I do of trying to optimize what we do as therapists to prevent unnecessary or inappropriate surgery as we go along.
Karen Litzy: 02:44 Yes. Fantastic. Busy weeks. You have busy weeks.
Christian Barton: 02:48 Yeah, I work alongside the three kids at home and yet it's not, not the easiest to juggle at times, but it's certainly all things that I enjoy.
Karen Litzy: 02:55 Yeah, that's amazing. And every time all the interviews ever had with all of the speakers who are coming to Vancouver in October, all do so much. But we didn't do one time is just have an interview on how you manage your time. But that's for another interview. But I think people would really enjoy that. So now let's talk a little bit more about physiotherapy. So why this field?
Christian Barton: 03:23 Yeah, I think as a kid I was always active, playing a lot of sports and had a few injuries myself. And I think I always valued the physios guidance about getting back from some of those injuries. So that got me interested in the field and then you go to university, you actually realize physio has a lot more than just train sports injuries. And you need to have to think about pulmonary rehab and cardiac rehab and you're electrical physio. There's a whole range in spectrum that we through. But I think pretty quickly when I come out I would want it to go back to musculoskeletal and sports. And so we went back down that path. And I think what I enjoy about being a physio therapist is just keeping people active. That's your more sedentary person, where you're trying to motivate them through lifestyle changes to get active and manage their persistent knee pain or back pain or whether it's a really elite sports person. I really enjoy trying to get people to achieve their physical activity goals essentially is what I'm enjoying.
Karen Litzy: 04:18 Awesome. And now I can see more and more people joining you. Again, if you're joining, please write like where you’re watching from and if you have any questions, put them in the comments because we'll be talked with, you know, so now let's, you had mentioned this earlier, talking about kind of what you do, part of what you do and you're involved in several knowledge translation initiatives. One of them being the trek group, which I remember I guess it was last year after sports congress and we all changed our social media to the trek elephants logo, which was really great. So this is a nonprofit initiative created to enhance knowledge translation to healthcare professionals, but also to patients and general public. So can you tell us a little bit more about trek and how it all started?
Christian Barton: 05:13 Yeah, sure. Also I think my research journeys being quite interesting. When I first started off doing research, I was in a gait clinic doing biomechanics research and I've always found that side of our practice really interesting. And you do this real integral research and you spend a long time for assessing data and finally end up with maybe a couple of things that you can share in the community and they share them. And then I started doing more clinical based research and trials. Firstly looking at biomechanics and then did you that exercise interventions. Very early on I actually worked on a lot of systematic reviews and my passion for doing that was, well we have all this great body of research, we need to bring it together so we can disseminate a little bit better. And then I actually did a project in London where it was actually looking at clinical reasoning of physical therapists and how they integrate evidence into their practice.
Christian Barton: 05:59 And what I discovered really quickly is not only were people not using evidence based practice all that often when I actually talked to them about patellofemoral pain, which I'd spent the best part of seven or eight years researching, they've never read any of my papers, never read any of my research. And so it sort of made me reflect a little bit and go, well, why am I doing all this research? And it's not actually being translated into practice. And so I started to have a bit of a flipping all I did and instead of spending time in the lab alongside doing clinical trials, I started to focus a bit more time on actually getting information out there. And so have a good friend of mine, Michael Ratliffe who's based in Denmark and we often catch up and catch up at conferences.
Christian Barton: 06:40 And actually one of the first times we spent a lot of time together was when I went to a Danish conference a number of years ago. It was actually after that conference, I was sitting down both quite frustrated, having a couple of Belgium beers talking about this problem and the acronym trek come up with just on a random occurrence sitting his kitchen table. I still remember it. It was like, how do we do this? We'd probably need to brand it with already and get people behind a movement and something happening. So trek stands for translating research evidence and knowledge. So it fits really nicely with that. It actually has more meetings in that. And if you look at English language for trek, it means a long and arduous journey, which I think an old translation very much use when you try and actually make change. And then it also fits with
Christian Barton: 07:22 probably one of my favorite books I've ever read, which is called switch, which is how to make change when change is hard. I highly recommend people read this book. It changed my life. And it's a really simple analogy. You have a rider sitting on an elephant and you need to get to a destination. So there's three main parts to that. The rider needs to know where to go. The elephant needs to be motivated because it doesn't matter if the writer tells them how often to go. It's not going to go anywhere to be big beast. Right?
Christian Barton: 07:48 We also need an appropriate pathway to get there. So if you picture yourself as an elephant rider on an elephant and an elephant in the middle of the jungle, we want to get to the beach. There's no path to get to the beach and it doesn't matter, you're not going to get there. So the concept of trek is that we have clinicians, we have patients searching for health information who are all motivated to learn more and to do better. They don't really know where to find that information and they certainly don’t know appropriate path to get there. So the idea of trek is to try and improve that. So that sort of started as an idea about how we do this. And then we've, I guess talking and trying to work with lots of people. It's been set up as a not for profit.
Christian Barton: 08:25 So it's not meant to be owned by anyone. No one's meant to profit from it. It's trying to bring everyone together and break down the silos of competition between universities because universities don't like to talk to each other and help each other because they're in competition for the same grants and that they might be buried. The knowledge translation. So it's been really important to me from the beginning that yes, we'll try here where I work supports it. But it's not meant to be owned by the tribe. It's not meant to be by myself. It's meant to be everyone seeing. And it comes from a socialist I guess, concept called connective action where we actually, it's basically a meeting which we connect people with the same ideas. And then I did a communications degree and was focusing on journalism and multimedia and social media and writing a whole bunch of stuff around that.
Christian Barton: 09:10 And I thought, well, this is a nice platform to use. I think about not just mainstream media, but also social media or whatever people turn. And then our favorite thing, doctor Google, where most people turn to health information. And when you start looking at doctor Google, it's a pretty broken system with a lot of misinformation. And so the concept and my hope is that in time, this trek movement or trek concept could maybe be something that we can't take over with Dr Google, but we can certainly contribute to the information that people find on doctor Google. And so it's getting people around the world to contribute information but create it in an engaging format that will actually get people to rate it and use it. We know there's lots of barriers to reading research for clinicians, understanding your research their reading, but also it's time.
Christian Barton: 09:53 And if you can consume the same information sitting on a train, listening to a podcast or looking at a brief video or infographic that maybe gives you the key information from some research and you can trust that source, that it's not biased, it doesn't have an agenda, then that means you can be confident that you can bring that into clinical practice. And for a consumer or a patient that gets that information, they can maybe make health decisions based on that as well. So that was kind of the origins of the project and it's still growing and developing. A lot of people were helped along the way and hopefully we'll get more as well.
Karen Litzy: 10:24 And what has been, so this sort of launched last year, right? Like officially launched. So what metrics have you found from launching last year to where you are now?
Christian Barton: 10:39 Yeah, so what I did is actually was lucky enough to get a small grant from the Australian physio association to build a platform to improve physiotherapists knowledge of exercise prescription. And so we did a study last year where we basically built a website, which is exercise.trekeducation.org and before we gave access to everybody, we made them do a test, which is about 20 minutes. And so I have this great data for grants. It's linked with your physios. You've still need to sit down and write up and we see big variations of knowledge of exercise prescription. And we kind of expected, our hope was that we could then test the evaluate, right? This website helped to improve people's knowledge. Now out of 1,600, I think about a hundred filled in that follow up survey or questionnaire rate. But it was at least as the grant gave us the funding to build a platform.
Christian Barton: 11:26 And it's a multisite platform. So since this time we've built a website now for many patellofemoral pain, which is a big area of mine for clinicians. We've actually just finishing up a low back pain site and a knee osteoarthritis sites. So by the time the conference is around, we will have launched them and be available and working with some other researchers to make a shoulder side. So think of all the big musculoskeletal conditions with variables. And we've also been developing platforms, consumer patients as well. And so we have one which a PhD student in new idea, Olivia or Silva has been working with me for the last two years and we did a super little trial looking to see how beneficial that might be by itself. And then in conjunction with physiotherapy intervention. And certainly the website by itself is incredibly helpful for improving patient's knowledge and self management strategies, their confidence in doing things.
Christian Barton: 12:17 And it seems to lead to reasonable clinical outcomes as well by itself, but probably better outcomes if we combine it with physio. And we haven't done what to evaluation yet, but we're hoping that we can start to do that more and more as we go along. And most importantly, just have some quality resources that are free. You don't have to pay for it, just there, you can use them. And it's been nice to see the exercise site. And certainly the one with the value at the moment. There's plans to do this as well, but they've been embedded into teaching curriculum as well, which has been really good. So University here at La Trobe is using them, but other universities around the world have also used bits and pieces of content and that's the idea of it is to write and use it all way pointless multiple people around the world creating the same content when we could work, maybe be better together.
Karen Litzy: 13:06 No, that makes a lot of sense. And now you're sort of like you said in the beginning, sort of doing a little bit of both your research and clinician. So why are we, in your opinion, why is it so important to bridge that gap between research and clinical practice?
Christian Barton: 13:23 Yeah, I think from, if I put not my research hat that my clinician hat on and I think about our physiotherapy profession, I think we have some amazing physios around. We do really, really good job. We have others who are very good physios that are working really hard to continue to improve knowledge. We have a lot of practice that I would also consider as pretty low value care and sometimes iatrogenic care where actually maybe delivering health education and information is actually detrimental to the patient. And so I think collectively we need to work really hard to establish our brand better and better because we can do better. And a big part of that is actually making sure that what we do know to be beneficial for patients all around the world is actually disseminated into the hands of people who can use it. And that's a big part of that is physios and other health professionals. So that's the big passion for trying to change it. And I see in my clinic second and third opinions and sometimes it's just the patient hasn't been motivated, haven't done the things that I need to do that have actually been given really good guidance. But equally we see cases where they've seen multiple health professionals and just the treatments and information being given is just not aligned with what we know of contemporary knowledge around evidence about what should help that person
Karen Litzy: 14:36 As physio therapists, what do you think we're doing really well and were doing right and what do you think we need a little bit of hopefully they’re not doing wrong. But what they just need a little boost.
Christian Barton: 14:57 Yeah, it's a good good question. I think in the most part physio practice and physical therapy practice is moving towards more active management and there's lots of debates on Twitter and social media and people argue about the value or lack of value, whichever side to sit on about manual therapy and things like that. But I think overall we are moving to more active management approaches. We are moving more towards managing the pain science side of things and educating patients better about that. And I think that's probably what we're not doing very well is building that brand of what we deliver. And as a couple of hours to that one is I guess getting collective way across the board that we're all on the same page and delivering similar high value interventions. And what that means is some patients will go to see for therapists or physiotherapists, then they maybe get delivered a lot of electrotherapy or something else and they don't get better in a long time. And then they go back to their doctor or their surgeon and say, oh, I did PT, I did physio. It didn't help.
Karen Litzy: 15:54 Yeah, yeah. Failed PT.
Christian Barton: 15:57 It failed. And I think that's something that drives me a little crazy is you don’t fail that profession, you fail an intervention. It's a lot of inappropriate surgeries and other treatments. I think collectively we need to be more on the same page, but that's something the knowledge translation probably helps with a lot. The other part that I think we do very, very poorly and actually worked with Rob Brightly, he's going to be presenting the conference and that is collecting outcome measures. So we don't actually measure what we do very well. We occasionally measured them and this is the same around the world for compensable patients because we're forced to. But if you were to audit most people's clinical practice and say, can you show me that what you do is truly valuable, it's worth something.
Christian Barton: 16:48 Most physio practices won't be able to. And I reflect on myself and I can't do this very well. So we need to get better at measuring the value of what we do. So we can take that information to funders and say, hey, we are actually worth something in what we do is worth something. And so I think that's a cultural thing and it's a systems thing and I think it's something we collectively maybe need to work pretty hard to, to try and change. And certainly locally I'm trying to work with the Australian physio association here and it started to come up with some processes that you can, we might do that and knowledge translation. One of the projects I've enjoyed the most here in Australia is a program called GLA:D. I'm going to talk to Ewa recently and that will be certainly discussed at the conference in the biggest strengths of GLA:D isn't it aligns with clinical practice guidelines.
Christian Barton: 17:34 That's education and exercise. So I'll bring that standard up across the board. So first to trust that when they send someone to the program they will get exercise with education and it also raises the outcomes related to that as well. So it can turn around and we have some great data in Australia which were yet to publish, but it certainly shows from now data that not only does pain improve, which is something that may or may not be the most often, but also changes things like medication and also changes things like surgical intention. So people may believe I need surgery or going down the line to surgery. Am I saying certainly in Australia that less people are desiring that. But we look at that in GLA:D that's great here. But the rest of physio practice so you have nothing to contemplate. Suddenly we need to work. You don't run out.
Karen Litzy: 18:19 Yeah. And I know the APTA here in the United States does have an outcomes registry that they started I think maybe a couple of years ago, maybe two years ago is starting to collect that data so that we can take it at least here in the US to insurance companies to show that what we do is valuable and that what we do should be reimbursed.
Christian Barton: 18:42 Do people contribute to it, do the people actually give data?
Karen Litzy: 18:51 I don't know the answer to that question cause it is voluntary. So I don't know the answer to that question at the moment. But I would assume some people do, but do the 300,000 physical therapists that work in the United States? No, but hopefully it's something that will grow over maybe the next, I mean it's slow. Right? So it may take like a decade plus to kind of, if we're being realistic. Right? If someone were to audit my books so to speak, I dunno. I can certainly show that. I don't know. I don't know. That's something I need to get better at, so I'm calling myself out, I guess. And it's something that I certainly need to do better at myself.
Karen Litzy: 19:52 So let's talk about your experience as a researcher. So we'll move from kind of the clinical dissemination to do you have any tips for, let's say, new and upcoming researchers or even physio therapy students who maybe want to go into the research track to kind of help maximize their potential for reach and for knowledge dissemination? So, you are the researcher, you're doing great work and then what? It doesn't get to where it needs to go. So what tips would you give to people to help with that dissemination?
Christian Barton: 20:37 Yeah, sure. So we put together a paper, which was just recently published in BJSM, trying to remember the exact title, but it's time. I think it's something along the lines of it's time for a place, publish or perish. We've got vanished. Yeah. So we have this in research that if you don't publish your work, then obviously there's no record of you doing it. But also you can't give credibility to your work in peer review processes. Very important to doing that. When we go for job promotions and we got the scholarship, for example, to do a PhD or whatever it might be, they're a competitive process and people look at metrics and one of the key metrics is really simple is how many papers have you published? What journals are they publishing? So it's really hard to get away from that. But ultimately, as we've discussed, that doesn't put the knowledge into the end users hands.
Christian Barton: 21:23 And what happens is we end up with commercial companies selling pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals and surgical interventions. That can be, I guess maximize money. And even pay teams event and for that matter. And so therefore the researchers, good knowledge doesn't get there. And maybe in health information that if news information gets cut through to clinicians and to patients, so you simply have to allocate some time to do it and you have to be quite aware and understanding that that might mean that you take a little bit of a heat on your academic gap or from a publication perspective because when they have so much time in the day. So that's a thing. It's just having that expectation that you can't do it all. That's really important. Spending some time on it. But in saying that it's not a ton of extra time to, after you publish a great RCT that was part of a PhD or whatever it might be, to spend some time with your media team at the university, put out a press release about that RCT and what the implications might be, which there may be ways from a radio interview or getting picked up in papers.
Christian Barton: 22:27 And so that's not a lot of extra work on top of maybe two or three years of the study even. Right. I think linking in with me, your teams at different universities is a really good starting point if you can. Then we have the social media world, and the social media world as a challenging one because there's a lot of strong and loud voices on there. Some of them are good, strong amount, Sometimes there's misinformation from those strong loud voices. And so you're going into competition for the microphone essentially on social media to do that. And you can get on and you can have debates and arguments and discussions and conversations about your research that you've done. But ultimately the people who disseminating, interpret that are the ones with the loudest voice and that's kind of, you can lose your information, which is a bit of a frustrating thing.
Christian Barton: 23:12 So yeah, so people get very frustrated about that when they've spent two or three years doing some research and then it gets misinterpreted by someone on social media who's got the microphone. So there's a few options around that. I think one of them is either creating a skill yourself or working with someone who has the skills to create knowledge translation resources. So we know from research that we've done and certainly evaluation of this is that the general consumer and that consumer can be the coalition or it can be the patient won't engage with your article, but they are likely to engage with your article but they are likely to engage with an infographic or an animation video. And so spending some time and effort on creating those types of resources to summarize your research findings is probably time and money well spent. So I'd strongly encourage people to price some emphasis on that.
Christian Barton: 24:04 And then you've got an asset on social media, and if you already have a big following on social media, you have to be the one that shares that asset because you've created the asset. So you've controlled the narrative of what goes into that asset and the key messages. You can then leverage the people. We do have a market friend and hopefully they can then share for you, et Cetera. We help with so you can spend your time arguing with the people, misinterpreting your work on Twitter or you can spend your time maybe creating some of resources. And I guess the concept of trek is to try and create resources with those types of things can be embedded into a web page. So if you've done research on my back pain and it's game changing research, then those knowledge translation resources can be put onto a platform on trek.
Karen Litzy: 24:50 Yeah. Great Advice. Anything else? So we've got getting to know the media team at your university to release a press release, which is huge because that can lead to other opportunities. And knowing how to either get your original research onto an infographic or an info video or a podcast, and then use that as your vehicle via social media, attaching that to some social media influencers, if you will in order to kind of get that out there. But I definitely think that's much better advice than banging your head against the wall and arguing with loud voices.
Christian Barton: 25:34 Yeah, exactly. Probably the other advice, if you go back a step in terms of designing search, it's probably really important and this hasn't been done well, but you engage the end user from the beginning. So going back a step and when you're designing your clinical trial, no good designing an intervention that no patient is going to engage or to use. So you might design an exercise program that you think is amazing and it's fantastic, but actually when the patients in the trial do it because they in a clinical trial, but then you go into the real world, It's too challenging for them to do. It's just too difficult. And therefore you're going to get criticized for your intervention that isn't clinically applicable. You want to cop that criticism in that design phase and people say, this is not clinically applicable. This won't work. Because then you've got time to redevelop on it and evaluating it and then realizing it won't cut through. So that's, yeah, I will probably important thing to think about. So when we talk about engaging the end user, particularly patients as the end user, but also clinicians as well, and getting their input because they're all going to be the ones delivering yet. And just to some extent, funders, they're a little harder to talk to.
Karen Litzy: 26:45 Yeah. Yeah. A little bit easier to get in with the patients or your fellow colleagues, hopefully. And now earlier you had mentioned that you have done research into topics such as patellofemoral pain. We also know that you do research in running injuries, obviously knowledge translation. So let's talk about kind of some common misconceptions around, we'll take running injury prevention and management, right. Cause these misconceptions come about because of poor dissemination of information I think is one aspect of it. So what would you say are some common misconceptions around running and injury prevention?
Christian Barton: 27:32 Yeah. So we can go into lots of areas here.
Karen Litzy: 27:35 No, it’s a lot of branches.
Christian Barton: 27:37 Yeah. So let's stick to running because it's a popular thing again. Everyone likes to manage runners and treat runners and not a lot of people like to run themselves. We actually put an infographic series out on our trek website. So James Alexander who is a master student environment moment putting together a series and we have the graphics and there's a few key ones for running injury prevention. One being stretching helps. And so that's something that has long been ingrained in people's beliefs that why you’re getting injured is that you haven’t stretched enough then stretching doesn't actually help us prevent injury. So it's not that it's a bad thing necessarily, although there is some evidence that stretching might impair muscle function, might actually reduce your ability to have muscle function but certainly it doesn't prevent injury.
Christian Barton: 28:31 So focusing on that as the problem is probably not the answer. Footwear often gets blamed for injuries, prevention and also as though the key focus. Now typically most of the times if you changed before where yes, it could definitely cause the injury drastic change, but a lot of times it's not the fault of a footwear. Someone buys a new pair of shoes, but they also decide they want to get fit and lose weight at the same time. And they go out and they overload and they train too much.
Karen Litzy: 29:01 Yeah. So those things kind of do overlap cause you get motivated, you go out and buy the new shoes and then you blame the shoes and not so much the amount of load that you just put through your body that you haven't put through your body in months or years.
Christian Barton: 29:14 Exactly. This is not the shoes that are important because they will moderate where the loads go can to some extent. But I think we get very obsessed and part of that comes back to who controls information that gets out there. And it's shoe companies, right? They sell shoes. There's all these motion control technology that shock absorption technologies. And so that's a big marketing campaign and that changes what people buy. And what I will say, it's a big problem. People have that answer. And then we have big pushes about minimalist shoes and they're the answer to everything. And in reality it's probably going to be very variable across different people in it. People with running shoes, all their life will be taken into women's shoe. That's a big change. So that will probably injure them. So yeah, might help. They need, they might get some acuities buying.
Christian Barton: 29:59 It might help their heel pain or forefoot stress fracture. So again, just that big emphasis on footwear and often because it's a commercial and marketable thing is offering the way what happens? I always love the example of Australia by a guy called cliff young. So some people are watching may know him, but those who don't, he actually run the first ever Sydney to Melbourne ultra marathon. So that's 800 kilometers or so. And one of our quite a few hours now, cause John did most of his training in numbers. He used to run two or three hours on his farm every day chasing sheep in Gum boots. So Wellington boots, clearly he didn't have any significant injuries. Right. And I have some great footage that I take when I teach my running course. That's some great footage of me doing that. And that's not to say everyone should go out and run in gumboots.
Christian Barton: 30:46 But certainly for him he was doing it his whole life. So he's adapted to doing that. And if you're adapted to doing something, don’t change it, right? Maybe maybe you might modify footwear to reduce the weight because that we know that helps with performance, but beyond that we don't really have a lot of good evidence that changes footwear will help with injury or performance or anything like that. So my philosophy mostly before where it ain't broke, don't fix it. But there are some nuances around some biomechanical considerations depending on what you want to try and change. But that's probably a couple of the key points of stretching and in footwear and the importance we place on them. I think it's probably more important to get our training loads right. And probably also thinking about, and these are my biases and there's not strong science on this, but doing a resistance training program might be more beneficial for preventing injury. We could do more loading with our muscles and tissues without that impact. And so that's possibly beneficial. And we do see some evidence that may be doing a resistance training program helps with performance as well. And most people get down because they're trying to run personal best times or beat their friends or whatever it might be. So rather than smashing yourself more and more on the training track, maybe get in the gym and do some resistance training would be my advice.
Karen Litzy: 31:57 Great. All right. Now, we're gonna shift gears just a little bit here. So the next question is what is or are the most common question or questions, I'll put an s on there that you get asked. And this could be by researchers, clinicians, patients, maybe you've got one for each. I don't know. What are the most common questions you get asked?
Christian Barton: 32:28 Yeah, so I'll start with researchers. So academics, you sort of touched on this a little bit before, but it's often around how to dedicate time and make knowledge translation, but not just that. So creating the resources we've talked about before, but how to navigate media or platforms like Twitter, like you get on Twitter and someone's attacking your research and let me see, interpret it. Or you get on Twitter and you put something out there and someone gets offended and that's a problem as well. And so it's actually, it's very difficult on social media because when you're typing things and writing things in, emotion gets taken out of things and people interpret emotions. So you might write something that has really no emotion attached to it, just a simple statement, right? But someone who thinks that you might be attacking them, we'll take that as an attack and then that creates a problem.
Christian Barton: 33:19 All the time. And I know that I offend people at times because they tell me that I've offended them and that's what I really appreciate it at least it gives me a chance to reassure and go look. It's not meant to be offensive when used social media is a positive way of translating knowledge and then other people probably get offended and just don't talk to me anymore. Yeah, I think I've been blocked a couple of times.
Christian Barton: 33:51 So my advice usually to people about Twitter is I think it's immediate that you can get a really good understanding about how part of the world is thinking. It's only a small part of the world. And then I think it's important to understand that that's the case. You're only getting a snapshot of some people and often it's people who have louder voices and want to go on talking, but it does give you some insight into that. And I think for me that frame some of my research questions and maybe modify as and move it and helps me narrow it down. It gives me a media where I can use assets that we've created to put them in hands of people who will disseminate them. So I think that's really, so sharing a good infographic or podcasts or video on that platform is one of the influential people there who hopefully then share your message. So I think it's important to have some presence there for that reason, but don't get emotional about it. If you feel like you're engaging in a circular conversation, you probably are engaging in circular conversation. You just stop, don’t keep going.
Karen Litzy: 34:48 Pull yourself out of it. Like I think often times what I see in those circular conversations is like somebody, it just seems like one of the parties within that conversation wants to win more than the other one. Or are they both really, really want to win. And so it's just like, I'm going to get the last word. No, you're going to know I am. No, I am. It goes back and forth and you just like,
Christian Barton: 35:14 My advice in those situations, for someone who feels like they're in a circle of conversation, they're beating your head against the brick wall. Just step back for a little bit and just think why is this happening? Why is what I believe or what I think not being interpreted the same way. Right. And it might be that actually you discover your own biases and it might be that. And that's a good reflective thing. It's ok to change you mind and beliefs. That's a good thing. That's a positive thing. Or it might be that actually you don't have as much supporting evidence for what you believe in. And maybe that's because you need to do some better quality research to test your biases and maybe you discovered that actually you were wrong, or maybe you test your biases properly and you discover I was on the right track, so that's good. Yeah. You usually have to prove myself wrong more than I proved myself. Right. That's a good thing. Yeah. Or actually worse what's happening, it comes back to that communications is you're not disseminating your messages very well. So you're actually not providing an adequate messenger. You can sit back and think about that and don’t keep argue with that person. You think about some strategies to disseminate and put together a podcast or a video, or write a blog about the topic that has really good details where you've got more than a couple of hundred characters.
Karen Litzy: 36:30 Yeah, that is really useful. So, and sometimes in these kind of conversations, if you will, sometimes you can also just take the person and send them a direct message where you can write a novel if you want to do as a direct message. And I find that when you do that and you kind of can explain yourself a little bit better, it helps to kind of foster better communication and a better conversation. And oftentimes when it's in private, people are different.
Christian Barton: 37:07 Yeah, that's great. And, taking the conversation off the social media platform is often a really good strategy too. Navigate and get over those miscommunications that can happen. Yeah.
Karen Litzy: 37:17 Yeah, I've done that before.
Christian Barton: 37:20 That's really spread enemies. Right. And then probably the other advice I'll give to people when I've actually put a tweet about this I think earlier this year or late last year. It's just, I'll refer to them as trolls and I'll call them trolls in until they show their face. People who are on there who don't have a public face. So it's social media. So for me you should have the transparent profile and the reasons for that is you want to know where people come from and where their beliefs come from so you can understand their point of view. And if you can understand that point of view, it makes it a little bit easier to have discussions with. But there's probably people on Twitter who just set up their identify profiles just to kind of attack and stir the pot and it's just not worth engaging with those people's I used to try and have their fun with them and make a few jokes and I've done that a few times. If you'd be probably saying that like, so that's also a time wasting. So it's kind of entertaining, but it's also time wasting as well. So I think when you identify, communicates, asking you persistent questions and almost feels like you're having circular conversations just block that person. There's no, you don't know what their alterior motive is. You don't know what their conflicts of interest are. You don't know where they're coming from.
Karen Litzy: 38:28 Well, you don't even know who they are.
Christian Barton: 38:31 Exactly. And so I don't think we should engage with those people. That's my first way. Most people won't like hearing that and they just keep creating new profiles. Right. Well that's okay. I never used to block anyone until six months ago, are quite a few people in racing time for that very reason. In short, if you get it, get into social media and you kind of, so you can learn from it and focus more on giving some quality content and having meaningful discussions rather than arguing. Yeah.
Karen Litzy: 39:01 Yeah. That's sort the idea of social media, especially when you're a professional, you want to be a professional because you're a professional and so, and the point of social media is to be social.
Christian Barton: 39:20 Yep. I like that.
Karen Litzy: 39:21 You know, it's not to go on there and be antisocial and argumentative. You're there to be socially it's fine to debate. It's fine to disagree. But some of the things that people hear this all the time that you see on social media, you would never see that kind of an argument with people face to face. It just wouldn't happen. You know? So you have to remember to keep this social in the social media and not be like a maniac.
Christian Barton: 39:52 I like that phrase. Keep the social in social media.
Karen Litzy: 39:54 Yeah. So if you could recommend one must read book or article, what would it be?
Christian Barton: 40:02 Yeah, so I mentioned earlier about with the trek origins and the concept around that. So switch is probably my book. I think it's influenced my life the most from many respects. I think I gave a really brief, probably poor synopsis of it. It is the elephant, the rider and getting to the destination. But it just changes the way you think. And when you're trying to make a change, it gives you nice, simple way for you where your barriers are. So is it people don't know what they need to do? Is it about the emotion and motivation? There's lots of great analogies that examples within that that I think will kind of really inspire you to think about the rest of your work. Not just research it, it's not just clinical practice but how to change relationships with different people and things like that. So I think it's a really good book to read. I'll give you a second one as well. John Rockwood. Yeah, no, he's translation and dissemination is a book called made to stick and that's basically made to stick. So it's around how to make your messages stick. So that's a really nice book as well. So if you're trying to communicate more clearly, that will hopefully give you plenty of ideas and concepts to look out for. That'd be my to go or recommendations.
Karen Litzy: 41:12 Perfect. All right, now let's get to the conference. It is October 4th and fifth in Vancouver of this year, October 4th and fifth of this year. And can you give us a little bit of a sneak peek about what you'll be speaking about at the Third World Congress?
Christian Barton: 41:32 Yeah, sure. So we've got a couple of presentations. One is actually in the session review, which I'm really looking forward to discussing with yourself and all around knowledge translation. And one of the things I want to talk about in that is how healthcare disinformation develops and spreads? Cause I think it's important we understand the mechanisms of that. And that also allows us an opportunity to understand how we can spread good information because we understand how, how can this disinformation grows and spreads. And hopefully that gives us some insight into how we can grow and spread the good quality information. And so we'll go through some of that and break down some of the things we've talked about around using I guess digital assets for knowledge translation in. One of the things I've actually really looking forward to talking a little bit more about is some of the outcomes from the research we've been doing, particularly around patients and finding them and what we can achieve through a good quality website.
Christian Barton: 42:23 So we have a review at the moment, which is under peer review looking at patellofemoral literature and it doesn't just do a systematic review of patient education. It also looks at online information sources. Basically when we look at all of those is the vast majority of conflicts of interest, often financial conflicts of interest. There's a lot of missing information on there. And so for the person navigating that, that's really challenging for them. And we've done a lot of qualitative work with people with the patellofemoral pain. And then part of the new ways work I talked about before, we actually did reasonably if we needed to clinical trial where for a period of that trial all they had was a website that we developed for them. And we put multimedia and engaging resources with quality information and accurate information, simple exercise program that they could do.
Christian Barton: 43:12 And so we're still pouring through the results and we'll have it done before the conference and I can see from the preliminary stuff was actually do really well by themselves with quality information. And certainly that then makes your life easier as a physio cause you don't have to fill in as many gaps. I can focus on adequate exercise prescription or clarifying some information and things like that. So it makes us more efficient. So yeah, really looking forward to talking about that in our session. And then the second session I'll be talking on is around exercise prescription and I think the title is beyond three sets of 10. And so I mentioned at the beginning my research started in the biomechanics lab and I used to think biomechanics, were the be all end all and I've probably changed my opinion on that over the years and very subtly, very slowly and I still think biomechanics matter, and exercise prescription around that can be important, but equally education alongside your exercise prescription to address things like Kinesiophobia and pain related fear or something that we find is a really important factor in managing people’s pain.
Christian Barton: 44:19 So yeah, a huge barrier to actually getting engagement, but even getting, they might do exercise but they won't get as much out of it if you haven't tackled those fears and beliefs. We'll talk some of the research we've done in that space recently around how that can guide exercise prescription and some processes around that. And then I've had some fun almost on the other end of the spectrum where we've actually just got people in the gym and focus more on physiological responses and we just smashed it in with strength and power. And one in physical therapy in sport, which is just a feasibility study. Probably 10 people, people who we just put through a resistance training program of strength and power and the reason we did this study is when you look at all the patellofemoral literature, no one has done a program of adequate intensity of progression and duration.
Christian Barton: 45:10 You would actually see any meaningful changes in strength and power despite the fact that a lot of them say that they do strength from your title when you actually look at their protocols are not true strength protocols. So we decided to just put great people through this program and just smashed them in to do. And they did better than I thought they would do. I was actually surprised. And so we'll talk about some of the findings and implications of that and how to put that into your clinical practice. And I think the whole idea for me is we have these programs that physios focus on around motor control and they often low dose exercise. Don't know what the education part alongside that done very well around pain, weighted fear and even exercises to tackle that. And simple great exposure. But equally we don't get the end stage stuff done very well. Actual really good progressive resistance training. Yeah. I think we get the middle part done well, but we kind of miss those two elements that's trying to bring all that together. So I'm looking forward to that where it’s not just three sets of 10 of hip abduction and knee extensions.
Karen Litzy: 46:11 Yeah, no, that sounds great. And, and I know that anyway, they'll probably be a lively discussion around that topic. I know here in the US, if people are using their insurance, they're often cut off before we would ever even remotely get that. Let's get you in the gym and really do it, you know, let's really kind of work and like you said, like smash it out, get them stronger, get them confidence and, and it's unfortunate, but that's the system that we have to play in and yeah.
Christian Barton: 46:44 Well, we can put a link up to the paper on the Facebook group. It’s actually open access at the moment? It's appendix of all the exercises. I think they're really simple exercises which was kind of cool about. So we just, we really just pushed it straight away and we only went for 12 weeks. And that was purely from a feasibility perspective of yeah, it just costs money to do these projects over a long period of time. Yeah. But my bargain is that if we kept going and with the clinical hat on, they continue to improve, at least in terms of function. A whole different kettle of fish, but they can do more exercises, more progressive. We make it, the more they can do and wherever their pain usually reduces. But wherever it gets to the point where they're happy or not, at the conference we'll talk about that.
Karen Litzy: 47:29 Yeah. Sounds great. I look forward to it. And are there any presentations at the conference that you're particularly looking forward to?
Christian Barton: 47:38 Yeah. So I think, and not just because I'm talking to you now, but looking forward to our presentation, not just from me talking but also hearing from yourself and rod and I, I think one of the things I've appreciated about knowledge translation and using social media experts, there's no person in the world that knows everything you guys had it through. Then over the years I've actually learned quite a bit from yourself with the podcasts and stuff you do and really enjoy some of yours. And I think I like the process and approach you've taken and I think you've been quite inspirational about how you can actually find a model where you can spend time doing it, which is really cool. I'm so looking forward to hearing more about that and maybe you have some good tips for me, but also Rob Whitely presenting in the same session.
Christian Barton: 48:22 I really like the way rob thinks, he thinks very differently to most people. He's got my favorite Twitter profile picture that I've seen so enough. Those are not from Australia where I quite understand it, but there's a picture of a kid with his head down looking asleep. We've got ex Prime Minister Tony Abbott talking at the same time. So it's quite a funny picture. But he's, yeah, he's a bit eccentric, but also very clever for instance. The whole conference is really good with lots of, I think clinically focused presentations because everyone presenting going through it has a really strong clinical focus here in what they do. I think that's a real strength of it. The Saturday morning there'll be a couple of really good workshops I was looking at it yesterday and trying to work out knowing that you would ask this question where I want to go.
Christian Barton: 49:13 And you've got that and it's allowing presentation with Ewa Roos, Christine, both of which have a huge respect for and I’ve learned a ton about exercise. And so I'm looking to that and saying what other things I could learn from my clinical practice. But at the same time, talk to you about upper limb, the same stuff. Now I see a few cases in shoulders. I don't see as many as Rollin, so it'd be great to learn some things from them, but also I liked to take knowledge from other areas and see how I can apply that to lower limb in my research and yeah. One interesting to do that, but I reckon I'm going to have an apology to those guys for saying that I won’t be able to make both. I'll have to make sure I send someone along.
Karen Litzy: 49:55 It’s going to be hard to choose, but you know, you'd take someone over, you have to divide and conquer. Exactly. You know, can you send someone with that? Yep. Need a team. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Over a beer or wine
Karen Litzy: 50:32 No, for me, like a small little glass of beer. That's right. Yeah. Thanks. Yeah, that's true. That's true. And you know, look at sports congress. This past year I did not have the flu. So drinking those like small little ones kept me awake.
Christian Barton: 50:49 Good, good, good.
Karen Litzy: 50:51 I found like this sweet spot. Well Christian, thanks so much for coming on and giving your time. Thanks everyone for coming on and listening. And Christian, where can people get in touch with you? Where can they find you? They have questions or they want to give you some unsolicited feedback or arguing.
Christian Barton: 51:26 Very happy, very happy with any feedback or questions. Probably easiest way to engage is probably on Twitter. So do you use Twitter a little bit for that? We also have a Facebook group for the trek exercise group. So if you look that up, I might put a link to that as well. So it's trek exercise group. And so that's not a bad medium to kind of start to engage with the trek initiative. And we'll actually use that to launch the back pain and also arthritis websites and I can put some links on there to the top from a website which we set up. And actually the other thing on that note, and I might put this on the Facebook page here as we have a course for anyone who's interested, it's a free online course learning how to critique randomized controlled trials.
Christian Barton: 52:14 So basically it takes you through some modules about how you go back to taking them. Before that we kind of get your knowledge and confidence on your capacity to do that. Do the course and then you could take a few articles and then at the end of it there's a followup test to see how you go. There are actually some prizes as well. So at this point in time we've had I think over a hundred people sign up to this. But only around about 20 finished. Yeah, there are two $500 prize as far as with Australian dollar prize. So at the moment those 20 people will have finished it or, and we've a one in 10 chance we'd pop your dollars. Say I would suggest that you jump on board and have it for learning, but chances to win a prize
Karen Litzy: 52:51 This is 500 Australian dollars or US dollars.
Christian Barton: 52:56 It’s about $350 US. So it's not as lucrative. It's not a small amount. So this is actually part of the, the trek project in collaboration at the University of Melbourne who established this. And so that's the sort of stuff that we're trying to do with trek is to put these types of resources out there and Yep. So hopefully we can get a few people on board back.
Karen Litzy: 53:21 Yeah. So you will try and put all the links. I'll find the links to books and everything that you had mentioned. Switch and make a stick and trek and we'll put them all in the comments here under this video. So that way people can click to them, and join the trek group and figure out how to get in touch with if you have any questions. So everyone, thanks for listening, Christian. Thank you so much. This was great, and I look forward to seeing you in Vancouver.
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