Improving Public Health Policy through Infection Transmission Modelling: Guidelines for Creating a Community of Practice
BACKGROUND: Despite significant research efforts in Canada, real application of modelling in public health decision making and practice has not yet met its full potential. There is still room to better address the diversity of the Canadian population and ensure that research outcomes are translated for use within their relevant contexts.OBJECTIVES: To strengthen connections to public health practice and to broaden its scope, the Pandemic Influenza Outbreak Research Modelling team partnered with the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases to hold a national workshop. Its objectives were to: understand areas where modelling terms, methods and results are unclear; share information on how modelling can best be used in informing policy and improving practice, particularly regarding the ways to integrate a focus on health equity considerations; and sustain and advance collaborative work in the development and application of modelling in public health.METHOD: The Use of Mathematical Modelling in Public Health Decision Making for Infectious Diseases workshop brought together research modellers, public health professionals, policymakers and other experts from across the country. Invited presentations set the context for topical discussions in three sessions. A final session generated reflections and recommendations for new opportunities and tasks.CONCLUSIONS: Gaps in content and research include the lack of standard frameworks and a glossary for infectious disease modelling. Consistency in terminology, clear articulation of model parameters and assumptions, and sustained collaboration will help to bridge the divide between research and practice.