LIMITING LYME DISEASE: USING SYSTEM DYNAMICS SIMULATION TO TARGET HEALTH INTERVENTIONS
McBurney, Shilo Helen
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Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne infection in North America. However, little is known about the impact of public and physician awareness and behaviour on health outcomes. In order to address this limitation, the objectives of this study were: to model how public and physician awareness and behaviour surrounding Lyme disease evolves with increasing disease prevalence, and how this affects incidence, diagnosis, progression to treatment, and patient outcomes; and to apply the model to determine the best intervention strategies for targeting the public and physicians to minimize negative Lyme disease health outcomes. System dynamics simulation is an appropriate method for capturing such dynamic relationships at the population level. The study results suggested that public-based interventions have a greater chance of success than physician-based interventions. However, until more research is conducted to assess the effectiveness of such interventions in practice, it was determined that multifaceted interventions are the best approach.