Sociotechnical System Analysis to Inform Antimicrobial Resistance Innovations

About the Project

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to be a growing threat to public health. Infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant bacteria leads to increased mortality and morbidity, which also results in enormous social and economic costs. The complex integration of services, technology, and products associated with antimicrobial use make it challenging to identify opportunities for effective interventions.

There is currently a lack of understanding of the sociotechnical factors associated with antimicrobial use. Using a “One Health” approach, the research team is investigating the existing social and technical systems that exist in the Canadian Beef Cattle industry in order to identify opportunities for technical, systematic, or knowledge translation interventions. By developing a template for an effective knowledge translation tool for the Canadian beef cattle case study, we hope to encourage similar system exploration activities that can be adapted for other industries.

This study is part of the Antimicrobial Resistance One Health Consortium’s suite of research projects. The One Health Consortium is a pan-Alberta collaborative platform focused on antimicrobial use and resistance research, innovation, policy, training, outreach, and commercialization.



The spread of antimicrobial resistance (and the decreasing effectiveness of drugs used to treat infections) is a challenging problem due to complex interrelationships across many disciplines, organizations, environments, organisms, societies, and geographical borders.

Sociotechnical Systems Word Cloud

By applying Sociotechnical System Theory, the team will be able to identify barriers and facilitators to decreasing antimicrobial use and/or limiting its spread to the environment and suggest actionable solutions in the beef cattle industry. The tools and methods developed in the course of this work have the potential to be applied to additional sociotechnical systems.

This project has also provided the opportunity for postsecondary students to gain hands-on research experience under the supervision of W21C researchers with four summer internships.

Services Provided

  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Needs Assessment
  • User Experience Research and Design
  • Knowledge Translation
  • Ethics Development and Management

Additional Content

2021 One Health Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference

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