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How has Covid-19 changed blood donation decisions and motivations and what are the long-term implications?

   Faculty of Natural Sciences

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  Dr Lesley McGregor  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Unlike other NHS services, blood donation did not pause during the covid-19 lockdown, but instead leaving your home to donate blood was considered 'essential travel'. How this perhaps changed the blood donor population warrants investigation. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that many more people donated for the first-time during lockdown, but what was the motivation and facilitators to do so and has/will this change in behaviour lead to further repeat donations? For others, blood donation may have stopped during the lockdown period, perhaps due to practicalities of attending when home schooling, fear of contracting covid-19 on public transport or in the hospital environment, etc, but will regular donation be reinstated in the future?

In order to help covid-19 patients, plasma taken from the blood of those who have recovered from covid-19 (‘convalescent plasma’ with anti-covid-19 antibodies) is required, but who has donated? Were they already blood donors? How did donors and non-donors make their decision when approached? Will donors continue to donate plasma and/or blood in the future?

This PhD aims to understand behaviour change and maintenance within the context of blood, platelets and plasma donation, looking at decision making in the context of covid-19 and beyond. Appropriate interventions to enhance donor recruitment and retention will be developed and tested.  

Application Requirements:

Eligible applicants for this self-funded PhD should

•        Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

A relevant MSc qualification (e.g. Health Psychology, Behavioural Science etc) is desirable.

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