PhD-Candidate School CAPHRI / Department of Health Promotion / Maastricht University – Patient awareness and decision making on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 26 Feb 2022

Project description - Antibiotics are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria change over time to no longer respond to antibiotics. As a result of AMR, infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat. At this point, no accepted alternative to antibiotics, and thus no solution for AMR exists.

The worrisome increase in AMR is the primary motivation behind the Dutch Antimicrobial Resistance Technology development and Biofilm Assessment Consortium (DARTBAC) project. DARTBAC is an interdisciplinary partnership of all AMR stakeholders, including governmental and non-governmental agencies, researchers, public health practitioners, hospital administrations, policymakers, industry leaders, and patients. Within DARTBAC, new antimicrobial technologies are being developed. For more information on the DARTBAC project, see: https://nwa-dartbac.org/

Job description - One of the aims of the DARTBAC project is to create a better understanding of how to increase AMR awareness and acceptance of new antimicrobial technologies among three target groups: 1. the general public, 2. patients, and 3. healthcare professionals. Three PhD candidates will be investigating one of these target groups. We are currently recruiting the PhD candidate who will focus on the patient perspective. In this project, activities are aimed at investigating the context within which choices regarding prevention and treatment of bacterial infections in orthopedic surgery are made; how and to what extent are patients aware and accepting of possible treatments, to what extent do they want to be involved in decisions, and what are their perspectives?

To understand how patients view AMR, antibiotics, and AMR technologies, and to enhance our understanding of shared decision making regarding AMR, the PhD candidate will:

  • conduct Focus Group research and survey research to explore determinants of patient expectations of antibiotics use surrounding orthopedic surgery;
  • attempt to understand how patients mentally map (strategies for curbing) AMR by employing systems mapping - a technique to map elements in a system and their interrelatedness;
  • use the insights to shape future development of strategies aiding patients in decision-making regarding novel AMR technologies.

Based on these studies we will identify and test the most fitting strategies to increase AMR awareness and acceptance of novel antimicrobial technologies among patients.

The position will give you the opportunity to broaden your research skills and engage in teaching activities at the faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences of Maastricht University.


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