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Postgraduate research project

​Point-of-care testing to improve the use of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections in primary care​

Fully funded (UK only)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Medicine
Closing date

About the project

This project will examine the implementation of existing and emerging point-of-care tests in order to better guide the management of respiratory tract infections in primary care. It will use observational quantitative and qualitative studies to explore point-of-care testing’s:

  • barriers and facilitators
  • diagnostic performance
  • implications for patients and primary care providers

Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are the most common problem manged by the NHS, and result in major annual winter pressures. Most are self-limiting but primary care clinicians have the challenge of identifying those that will benefit from antibiotic treatment or other interventions. Unnecessary use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance.

Some point of care tests, including C-reactive protein (CRP) and viral panels are available and new tests are emerging, but none are currently widely used in primary care. These have the potential to revolutionise the management of RTIs in primary care, but introducing them without adequate assessment may lead to more harm than good.

This project will explore the views of primary care clinicians and patients using quantitative and qualitative approaches. You will conduct implementation studies to explore how novel tests are used, describing their diagnostic performance, and describing their potential impact on antibiotic prescribing.

You will develop skills in:

  • setting up and conducting applied clinical studies
  • developing questionnaires
  • diagnostic accuracy studies
  • statistical analysis
  • implementation studies
  • qualitative interviewing
  • systematic literature reviewing

You will be supervised by an experienced team of researchers in the Primary Care Research Centre, Infection and Immunity research group and part of he Microbiology, Immunology and Infection theme in the Biomedical Research Centre. You will also develop links with leading academics and industry partners.


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