Public health modelling

Cycle gearsModelling is the simulation of a partial representation of a system. It can help us answer questions that no single empirical study can answer.

Modelling enables us to estimate longer term and population wide health effects of interventions, integrate evidence from different domains, consider hypothetical ‘what if’ scenarios, and address issues of cost and cost-effectiveness. Modelling can also be used to investigate how health related practices might change in complex systems.

Modelling studies can be cheaper and quicker than real world studies and do not require the intervention to actually be implemented. They can therefore support getting the best value from intervention studies and natural experiments.

In public health modelling at CEDAR we combine evidence from many different primary studies plus insights from experts and other stakeholders. Simulation of  models containing uncertainty can be used to indicate where the gaps in our knowledge are most critical for decision making.

Programme lead: Dr James Woodcock

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