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Patient-Centred Care (PCC) in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Full or part time
    Prof R Brugha
    Dr J Gajewski
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, December 02, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

This PhD studentship, through research undertaken in a sub-Saharan African country (Tanzania or Malawi), will investigate healthcare provider and patient dimensions of patient centred care (PCC). Little substantive research has been undertaken in Africa on PCC, which is determined by health worker training; the structure and organisation of the health system; and the socio-economic environment in which health workers operate man (1). Given the lack of research from Africa, an exploratory mixed methods study is planned, comprising in-depth interviews of hospital staff and patients, followed by structured surveys of staff and of patients.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to developqualitative and quantitative research skills, under the supervision of experienced researchers and working with an international research team from European and African research institutions. The PhD comprises: 1) a systematic review of the PCC literature, 2) qualitative research to develop an understanding of PCC in an African country context; 3) development and testing of a tool to measure PCC in an African setting, 4) and survey implementation to determine the current state of PCC in the selected country. This will lead to research outputs (scientific articles), led by a candidate who has the drive to become an accomplished researcher; and who may be considering a research career on health in low- and middleincome countries. The platform of the PhD is the 4-year €6 million Horizon 2020 Scaling up Safe Surgery for District and Rural Populations (SURG-Africa) project, 2017-2020 - see SURG-Africa is testing a supervision, mentoring and support intervention, in 31 district level hospitals, in Malawi Zambia and Tanzania, filling a major global health research gap.

This project will require fieldwork in Tanzania or Malawi in collaboration with, and supported by, the SURGAfrica research teams. This will provide an excellent opportunity to obtain first-hand experience in conducting studies in resource-limited settings. Structured training will be delivered through the PHS SPHERE programme, with on-the-job training by Brugha and Gajewski, the SURG-Africa research PI and lead, in: (i) qualitative methods; and (ii) quantitative methods. It is expected that findings will lead to the design of a PCC intervention that could form a post-Doc proposal for a candidate interested in a career in global health research.


1. Man J De, Mayega RW, Sarkar N, Waweru E, Leys M, Olmen J Van, et al. Patient-Centered Care and People-Centered Health Systems in SubSaharan Africa: Why So Little of Something So Badly Needed? Int J Pers Cent Med. 2016 Oct 26;6(3):162–73.

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