Improving working conditions and wellbeing in the Northern Italian healthcare

   Management School

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  Prof K Nielsen, Dr Cristian Vasquez  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project description

Healthcare organisations are facing many challenges in the wake of the pandemic and healthcare workers’ wellbeing are under threat. Together with INAIL, National Institute for Insurance against Work Accidents and the University of Trento, this PhD project focuses on how to promote and protect employee well-being through making changes to the way work is organised, designed, and managed. The project will be conducted in a large Northern Italian healthcare organisation. 

The project will form part of an existing collaboration between INAIL, the University of Trento and the Sheffield University Management School where tools have already been developed to support organisations to implement sustainable changes using a participatory approach. The key focus of the PhD project is to evaluate the use of these tools understand what works for whom in which circumstances, conducting a process and effect evaluation of the intervention. 

Key tasks include:

  1. Conducting a qualitative process evaluation with steering group members of the project to understand how useful members found tools and barriers and facilitators to using these tools and methods (steering group members speak English)
  2. Developing and validating quantitative process evaluation tools to use in quantitative process evaluation
  3. Conducting sophisticated analyses to fully understand which intervention processes are key to bringing out intended effects of the intervention (improvements in working conditions and employee wellbeing)

Key skills required are knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods and some experience of work psychology. Italian language skills are preferred, but not a requirement.

International collaborator(s)

This project is an extension of an existing collaboration between SUMS, the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene of the National Institute for Insurance against Work Accidents (INAIL), Italy, and the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Italy, established in 2020, working with a healthcare organisation in Northern Italy with more than 3,000 employees. Baseline data have been collected and activities to promote and protect healthcare workers’ well-being developed. Ongoing interviews with steering group members have been conducted of the early phases of the project. 

This successful candidate will in close collaboration with all three research partners evaluate the intervention process and the activities implemented, they will access to already existing data, translated into English and will be supported in collecting further both qualitative and quantitative data. The project offers the opportunity to learn advanced statistical analyses using an existing dataset, and conduct all phases of a qualitative study (recruitment, data collection and interview techniques, and analyses) to perform process evaluation).

The successful candidate will be offered an extended research stay at INAIL, based in Rome and the University of Trento, based in Rovereto for a period of up to 12 months. 

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