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Modeling Behavior in Complex Public Health Systems: Simulation and Games for Action and Evaluation

Overview

This graduate text is the first to present methods for modeling health behavior dynamics, using numerous online interactive simulations, downloadable programs, and examples of applications to planning interventions. The book examines behaviors that range from simple individual health protective actions to complex cooperative public health actions. It provides a user-friendly and effective method for teaching systems thinking, a core competency now required by the Association of ...

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Modeling Behavior in Complex Public Health Systems: Simulation and Games for Action and Evaluation

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Overview

This graduate text is the first to present methods for modeling health behavior dynamics, using numerous online interactive simulations, downloadable programs, and examples of applications to planning interventions. The book examines behaviors that range from simple individual health protective actions to complex cooperative public health actions. It provides a user-friendly and effective method for teaching systems thinking, a core competency now required by the Association of Schools of Public Health.

The text presents evolutionary and ecological models of health behavior, which readers first explore using interactive online simulations. The fundamental principles of these models are explained through the book's narrative and demonstrated through the use of simple board games. The text then shows how to translate these board games into computational models using Netlogo, a free, user-friendly software. Thus no computer programming background is required. Readers will learn the basics of agent-based modeling of individual behavior, social network behavior, organizational behavior, spread of disease, and a variety of public health interventions. Applying these methods to public health systems, sample models introduce the dynamics of networks of organizations and how they can interact to protect health. A unifying theme throughout is how complex individual and collective health behavior develop from simple individual health decisions or behavior repeated over time. The book also includes a student's models at successive stages of learning, including her early-stage incorrect program, which readers can themselves try to correct. Students will learn to create their own models, use them to conduct simulated experiments, and apply these methods to planning and evaluating behavior change interventions. Each chapter provides online interactive models and downloadable sample programs.

Key Features:

  • Uses interactive simulation for modeling health behavior dynamics for complex public health systems
  • Demonstrates agent-based modeling of individual health behavior, network behavior, public health intervention effects, and the spread of disease
  • Teaches readers to create models that can improve their local needs assessments, program logic modeling, and program planning and evaluation
  • Includes numerous interactive online simulations, downloadable programs, and examples of applications to planning interventions
  • Facilitates "systems thinking," a required core competency
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Jessica C Baxter, MSN, RN (Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center)
Description: This book describes how to use games and simulation to help students understand public health systems, including trending, epidemiology, and behavior choices.
Purpose: The purpose is to expose students to computer games to assist them in understanding aspects of health behavior. These are worthy objectives, but the book is heavily text driven, the illustrations are poor, and the application does not meet the objectives.
Audience: According to the foreword, the book is written for educators.
Features: The book reviews concepts of public health epidemiology and how to create simulations and/or games to help students apply these concepts. The best part of the book is the innovative application concept. However, the examples it uses are not engaging and the illustrations are very poor.
Assessment: This is not a book I would use — it is very dry and does not excite the educator to attempt a new pedagogy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826110176
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/27/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Keane, MPH, ScD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He has published in numerous prestigious peer-reviewed journals and several of his articles have been widely cited. Dr. Keane has served as PI on grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the CDC, Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Many of his publications and grants focus on the public health system, including local health departments, public-private partnerships, and public health privatization. Dr. Keane also has researched provision of services to the uninsured and children's health insurance, HIV prevention, global health, and geriatrics. He has designed many program evaluations and community assessments, combining quantitative and qualitative methods and computational simulation of program effects. Dr. Keane has many years of experience conducting and teaching needs assessment, planning, evaluation and logic-modeling, and combining this with his expertise in computational modeling.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to a Logic-based Approach to Modeling Health Behavior

Chapter 2: Modeling Health Intentions, Needs and Satisfaction Seeking Behavior

Chapter 3: Modeling Behavior in Networks.

Chapter 4: Modeling for Planning and Evaluating Behavior Change Interventions.

Chapter 5: Modeling Health Cognition

Chapter 6: Modeling Stages of Change in Health Behavior

Chapter 7: Modeling with Neural-Networks

Chapter 8: Modeling Networks of Organizations in a Public Health System

Chapter 9: Modeling in Conjunction with Field Experiments and Games

Chapter 10: Modeling Healthy Societies

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