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Population-based simulations of influenza pandemics: validity and significance for public health policy
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. (Landstinget i Östergötland; Centre for Public Health Sciences; Centre for Public Health Sciences; Folkhälsovetenskapligt centrum;)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6049-5402
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDA - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Analytical Service Inc.
Ball State University.
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2009 (English)In: BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, ISSN 0042-9686 , Vol. 87, no 4, 305-311 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective To examine the validity and usefulness of pandemic simulations aimed at informing practical decision-making in public health.

Methods We recruited a multidisciplinary group of nine experts to assess a case-study simulation of influenza transmission in a Swedish county. We used a non-statistical nominal group technique to generate evaluations of the plausibility, formal validity (verification) and predictive validity of the simulation. A health-effect assessment structure was used as a framework for data collection.

Findings The unpredictability, of social order during disasters was not adequately addressed by simulation methods; even minor disruptions of the social order may invalidate key infrastructural assumptions underpinning current pandemic simulation models. Further, a direct relationship between model flexibility and computation time was noted. Consequently, simulation methods cannot, in practice, support integrated modifications of microbiological, epidemiological and spatial submodels or handle multiple parallel scenarios.

Conclusion The combination of incomplete surveillance data and simulation methods that neglect social dynamics limits the ability of national public health agencies to provide policy-makers and the general public with the critical and timely information needed during a pandemic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 87, no 4, 305-311 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17902DOI: 10.2471/BLT.07.050203OAI: diva2:212990
Available from: 2009-04-26 Created: 2009-04-24 Last updated: 2013-09-05

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Timpka, ToomasEriksson, HenrikEkberg , Joakim
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