Overuse of antibiotics contributes to development of antibiotic resistance, one of the key global public health priorities. This can lead to worse health outcomes of current and future patients. Higher levels of antibiotic prescribing have been linked with higher socioeconomic deprivation in the UK. Different reasons may underlie this issue, from higher prevalence of infections and risk factors to different social norms around infection prevention and management.

What are we looking for?

The project will aim to identify ways to improve the prevention and management of common infections (in particular self-limiting respiratory tract infections) in areas with higher socioeconomic deprivation and/or under-served populations in England.

The project could address the following questions:

  • What is the evidence linking socioeconomic deprivation and antibiotic prescribing?
  • How are deprivation and antibiotic prescribing linked? How may deprivation influence antibiotic prescribing?
  • How can we facilitate safe and prudent antibiotic prescribing/use in areas with higher deprivation and antibiotic prescribing?

The project may involve a combination of systematic reviews (e.g. of epidemiological, intervention and qualitative studies; realist review), qualitative research (e.g. with patients, health professionals), stakeholder involvement, intervention development and piloting (e.g. behaviour change intervention targeted at patients and/or health professionals).

It may also involve exploring the intersections between deprivation and social/cultural norms related to infection prevention and management. It will likely involve research with populations that are under-served and less represented in research.

If interested, please contact Aleksandra.borek@phc.ox.ac.uk