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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R21CA157571-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Vardavas, Raffaele
Organization: Rand Corporation
Project Title: Health Outcomes, Risk Perceptions and Preventative Behavior on Social Networks
Fiscal Year: 2012


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Participation in preventive health interventions is largely motivated by perceptions of risks of the diseases and benefits of the interventions, and social networks can strongly influence perceptions. In this proposal we are interested in how risk/benefit perceptions are influenced by health-outcomes of those in one's social sphere and how these lead to individual-level decisions that change population-level outcomes. By developing and analyzing mathematical simulation models, we aim to develop a framework for studying the mutual interaction between preventive health behaviors, risk perception, and individual health outcomes on various social networks. We address our interest by focusing on two specific examples:(a) breast cancer screening and (b) seasonal influenza vaccination. These provide an example for a non-contagious and a contagious disease respectively. Our models will use both empirical social networks and constructed random, small-world and scale-free social networks with similar mean connectivities. We shall conduct surveys to gather individual-level behavioral data that will allow parameterization of the models. In contrast to past and standard approaches, our models include two important properties of human decision-making: (a) memory and adaptability from past experiences and (b) peer-influences via rumor/information spreading. Thus our individuals, represented as nodes in the network, are assumed to have bounded-rationality and are influenced by their acquaintances in their social sphere when making preventive health decisions. Our study will allows to understand how individual-level preventive health behaviors change population-level outcomes. Our model would then allow us to test and suggest different public health incentives and how these could lead to improved population-level health. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Participation in preventive health interventions is largely motivated by perceptions of risks of the diseases and benefits of the interventions, and social networks can strongly influence perceptions. In this proposal, we will combine mathematical simulation models and individual-level surveys to study how population-level health emerges and evolves in time through the collective action of individual behavior when individuals are influenced by health outcomes of others through their social network.


Optimal non-pharmaceutical pandemic response strategies depend critically on time horizons and costs.
Authors: Nowak S.A. , Nascimento de Lima P. , Vardavas R. .
Source: Scientific reports, 2023-02-10; 13(1), p. 2416.
EPub date: 2023-02-10.
PMID: 36765151
Related Citations

Modeling COVID-19 Nonpharmaceutical Interventions: Exploring periodic NPI strategies.
Authors: Vardavas R. , de Lima P.N. , Baker L. .
Source: medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences, 2021-03-21; , .
EPub date: 2021-03-21.
PMID: 33688672
Related Citations

Could periodic nonpharmaceutical intervention strategies produce better COVID-19 health and economic outcomes?
Authors: Vardavas R. , de Lima P.N. , Baker L. .
Source: Policy and complex systems, 2021 Spring; 7(1), p. 81-118.
PMID: 35582112
Related Citations

The Stability of Influenza Vaccination Behavior Over Time: A Longitudinal Analysis of Individuals Across 8 Years.
Authors: Walsh M.M. , Parker A.M. , Vardavas R. , Nowak S.A. , Kennedy D.P. , Gidengil C.A. .
Source: Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2020-10-01; 54(10), p. 783-793.
PMID: 32359063
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Age differences in reported social networks and well-being.
Authors: Bruine de Bruin W. , Parker A.M. , Strough J. .
Source: Psychology and aging, 2020 Mar; 35(2), p. 159-168.
EPub date: 2019-11-07.
PMID: 31697096
Related Citations

The Role of Social Circle Perceptions in "False Consensus" about Population Statistics: Evidence from a National Flu Survey.
Authors: Bruine de Bruin W. , Galesic M. , Parker A.M. , Vardavas R. .
Source: Medical decision making : an international journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making, 2020 Feb; 40(2), p. 235-241.
EPub date: 2020-02-17.
PMID: 32065024
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Reports of social circles' and own vaccination behavior: A national longitudinal survey.
Authors: Bruine de Bruin W. , Parker A.M. , Galesic M. , Vardavas R. .
Source: Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2019 Nov; 38(11), p. 975-983.
EPub date: 2019-07-01.
PMID: 31259597
Related Citations

Social network effects of nonlifesaving early-stage breast cancer detection on mammography rates.
Authors: Nowak S.A. , Parker A.M. .
Source: American journal of public health, 2014 Dec; 104(12), p. 2439-44.
EPub date: 2014-10-16.
PMID: 25322304
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Conscious consideration of herd immunity in influenza vaccination decisions.
Authors: Parker A.M. , Vardavas R. , Marcum C.S. , Gidengil C.A. .
Source: American journal of preventive medicine, 2013 Jul; 45(1), p. 118-121.
PMID: 23790997
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