Invitation to participate in a research study “An Online Platform for Expanding Antibiotic Stewardship (OPEN Stewardship)” (REB#19-03-006).

Dear Veterinarian,

You are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Dr. Kamal Raj Acharya (Postdoctoral Fellow), and Dr. Amy Greer (Tier II Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modeling and Associate Professor) from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. 

This is the first study evaluating the use of an online platform (OPEN Stewardship) for expanding veterinary antimicrobial stewardship in Ontario. Your participation will benefit veterinary stewardship interventions in the future using an online system. This study is funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), under Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) program.

This invitation letter and the information/consent document (see link below) contain important information regarding the study. This will help you to decide if you want to participate in the study. Please print these documents for your reference.

Study purpose

We are conducting this study to evaluate an online platform (OPEN Stewardship) for expanding antibiotic stewardship among practicing veterinarians.

Study design

The project will evaluate the effect of customised feedback and information for expanding antibiotic stewardship among veterinary practitioners. If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to provide a record of your antimicrobial prescriptions for at least three specific clinical presentations (e.g. mastitis, respiratory illness and enteric illness) in dairy cattle.  These prescription data will be securely accessed by data experts and anonymously used for generating feedback reports. 

During the project, participants will receive 3 feedback emails at specific time intervals for their review and will then answer a short survey (~ 10 minutes) to provide the research team with their impressions of the feedback system (e.g. utility, clarity, ease of use, value of information etc.). Participants will be involved with the study for 12 months. In total approximately 60 minutes of participant time will be required. However, the participation time will be approximately 30 minutes for a small group of participants who will not receive the feedback emails and are not required to answer the survey.

Your individual prescribing data as well as your answers to the surveys will remain confidential and we will minimize any risks to breach of confidentiality. However, please note that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed while data are in transit over the Internet. No individual identifying information will be included in any presentation or publication resulting from this research. Only aggregated data will be used for data analysis and communication purposes.

Participation

To participate in this study, you must:

·      be licensed by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario, 

·      be a member of the Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners  

·      have an electronic prescription recording system,

·      have a predominant dairy cattle practice. 

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. You are free to skip any survey question you choose. If at any point during your involvement in the research study you decide you would no longer like to participate, you are free to close the survey window without submitting your responses. In that case, any data collected to that point will be deleted.

Compensation for participation

In recognition of your time and contribution to this research project, participants who complete the project will be provided a $75.00 Tim Hortons gift card (Digital TimCard®)as a token of appreciation. Please note that you are required to acknowledge the receipt of the gift card via the replying email.

Questions/Concerns

If you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant in this study (REB#19-03-006), please contact: Director, Research Ethics; University of Guelph; Telephone: (519) 824-4120, ext. 56606; email: reb@uoguelph.ca.

If you have any questions or concerns about the research, please feel free to contact Amy Greer (agreer@uoguelph.ca, 519-824-4120 extension 54070).

If you intend to participate in this survey, please read the information/consent document (see link below) carefully and complete the consent document. By completing the consent document, you are indicating that you have read and understood the information about the project and agree to take part in this study by submitting your prescribing information, providing your email address, and providing consent to receiving 3 personalized emails and completing a short (~10 min) survey each time between September 2019 and September 2020.