Course catalogue doctoral education - HT20

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Title Improving drug use, especially antibiotics
Course number 1846
Programme Infektionsbiologi och global hälsa (BIGH)
Language English
Credits 1.5
Date 2018-09-12 -- 2018-09-19
Responsible KI department Institutionen för global folkhälsa
Specific entry requirements
Purpose of the course This course will help participants to understand, discuss and apply key concepts on medicine use, especially antibiotics, and antibiotic resistance from a global health perspective. In addition, participants will have opportunities to further develop their skills for communicating science and networking in multicultural and multidisciplinary contexts.
Intended learning outcomes At the end of the course students will be able to:
- appraise that medicinal drugs are one of the main technologies used within the health care system and are also widely used for self-medication/home treatment
- analyse factors affecting antibiotic use and resistance, both on macro- and micro-level and its impact on global health
- evaluate different methods to improve use of medicines, and in particular antibiotics
Contents of the course -Sources to describe drug utilisation will be presented, together with possibilities and difficulties to collect appropriate data to show the level of medicine use in a given population.

-Methods to estimate the level of self-medication and people's beliefs and behaviour will also be shown and discussed. The use of antibiotics will be used as an example as infections are one of the leading causes of morbidity worldwide. Furthermore, the use of antibiotics carries a special problem, in that resistance affects not only previously treated persons but also previously untreated persons and may spread throughout the world.
Antibiotic resistance has been recognized as a threat to public health in all countries, by both WHO and EU.

-Examples of antibiotic use from countries of different income level and from different parts of the health system will be presented and discussed. In addition factors affecting medicine use, both on macro- and micro-level will be mapped out and discussed. The case of Europe will be presented, where it has been shown that antibiotic use is very different between neighbouring countries which indicates that other factors besides strict medical factors play an important role.

-Decisions to use medicines are taken in homes, pharmacies or other drug outlets, within primary health care as well as in hospitals. The concept of rational use of medicines includes correct use of good quality medicines at an affordable cost.

-Methods to improve use of medicines, and in particular antibiotics, will be presented, including the role of guidelines and various kinds of information or educational interventions directed to health care professionals, patients or the public. Ways of evaluating such interventions will be presented and discussed.

Teaching and learning activities This blended-learning course will be held using the learning platforms Ping Pong and Adobe Connect. Learning activities include synchronous (i.e real-time, on campus) and asynchronous (video recorded, on-line) lectures, seminars and group work. The course is extend over 2-3 weeks but is equivalent to one week full-time.
Compulsory elements It is compulsory to attend all the synchronous lectures and to participate in online discussion forums. Absence will have to be compensated by extra individual assignments provided by the course organizers.
Examination A written individual assignment and presentation of group work. Each student will be individually assessed.
Literature and other teaching material Obligatory literature:

1.World Health Organization. The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance-Options for Actions. 2012. Available at:

2. World Health Organization. WHO. Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance. 2014 Available at:

3. World Health Organization. WHO. Worldwide country situation analysis: response to antimicrobial resistance. 2015. Available at:

4. World Health Organization. WHO. Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. 2015. Available at:

Recommended literature:

1. Designing and conducting health systems research projects, available on internet 579 pages (selected pages depending on background of student). Available at:
Volume I:
Volume II:

2. Current scientific publications (e.g. research articles and theses) suggested by course leader and lecturers as appropriate.
Number of students 8 - 20
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant's doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) date for registration as a doctoral student (priority given to earlier registration date)
More information The course will be held September 12-14 and September 18-19, room Sterky, Widerströmska huset, Tomtebodavägen 18A, floor 4. It is a full-time course between 9-17.
Additional course leader Anna Machowska and Jaran Eriksen.
Latest course evaluation Course evaluation report
Course responsible Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg
Institutionen för global folkhälsa
Contact person Anna Machowska
Institutionen för global folkhälsa

Jaran Eriksen
Institutionen för laboratoriemedicin