Systems Science Methods in Public Health: Dynamics, Networks, and Agents
Many of the most pressing public health challenges are types of ‘wicked problems.’ These problems are complex, resistant to change, and require new types of transdisciplinary scientific investigation to address. Systems science methods, particularly system dynamics, social network analysis, and agent-based modeling show promise for these types of challenges. This talk will suggest how systems science can be applied to these types of problems, introduce these three common systems science methodologies (focusing particularly on network analysis and agent-based modeling), and provide examples of their application drawn from a variety of public health areas, including obesity, tobacco control, HIV/AIDS, healthcare delivery, and dissemination & implementation.
Speaker: Douglas Luke
Professor Luke is a leading researcher in the areas of health policy, organizational systems, and tobacco control. He is director of the Center for Public Health Systems Science (CPHSS) at the Brown School, which focuses on the evaluation, dissemination, and implementation of evidence-based public health policies.
During the past decade, Dr. Luke has worked on applying systems science methods to important public health problems, especially social network analysis. Dr. Luke’s Center has used network analysis to study diffusion of scientific innovations, to model the formation of organizational collaborations, and to develop a blueprint of state tobacco control programs. In addition, Dr. Luke has been the network analysis track lead at NIH’s Institute for Systems Science and Health.
Frontiers for Network Analysis in Health Systems Research and Implementation Science
Health services and systems researchers are increasingly interested in studying the role and utilizing the power of social relations. Social networks have been studied to inform, promote, and evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of health interventions.
The focus for this year’s Health Services, Systems & Policy Seminar Series at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation (IHPME), University of Toronto is on applications of social network analysis techniques and theories to study health services and systems. The series will engage Canadian and international scholars to discuss empirical and theoretical efforts to highlight the promise and potential, caveats, and limitations of network analysis in the field.
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