Using injectable end-of-life symptom control medications at home: understanding human and system factors through inclusive design

Year of award: 2022


  • Mr Ben Bowers

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project summary


This interdisciplinary project seeks to understand the human and system factors involved in the safe, effective and timely use of injectable end-of-life symptom control medications for adults dying at home. It will advance an inclusive design research methodology and identify with stakeholders where and how systems for using injectable medications can be improved.


Drawing on engineering, patient safety and social science disciplines, I will use innovative systems-driven inclusive design methods to examine the human and system factors involved in the use of injectable end-of-life medications; where and how this complex adaptive system can be improved will be investigated through three sequential stages.

Stage 1. Mixed-methods analysis of reported patient safety incidents occurring in England and Wales using the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) database.

Stage 2. Longitudinal patient-centred case studies exploring the views, experiences and interactions of patients prescribed medications, their family caregivers and clinicians.

Stage 3. Stakeholder focus groups with patients, family caregivers and healthcare teams exploring key issues, generating further knowledge of systems for using medications and how these can be improved.

Outputs: Findings will be disseminated via scientific publications, conferences and targeted online briefings and videos for researcher, clinician and policymaker communities.