Studying patients’ social networks: The design of three case studies

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Speaker: Reza Yousefi Nooraie

Date: November 24th

Time: 10 AM – 12 PM

Location: Health Sciences Building (155 College Street, Toronto ON), Room HS 108


Patients do not live in silos. Instead, they communicate with peers, caregivers, members of their health care teams, and sometimes even researchers, policy makers, heath executives and other clinicians through social networks. Studying the social networks of patients can inform the implementation and sustainability of health interventions. Health interventions can target social networks, as channels through which the adherence and adoption is promoted. Although several implementation models broadly recognize the importance of considering social relationships along the implementation pathway, our current knowledge about how social networks can be used in formative, process, and outcome evaluations of an implementation initiative is limited.

This talk will provide a brief overview of approaches to study patients’ networks, with an emphasis on three ongoing case studies: 1) A mixed methods study aiming to investigate the process of engagement of patients in planning and conducting health research from a social network analysis perspective; 2) Studying the evolution of support and information sharing networks among parents of children with obesity who participate in a paediatric weight management program; 3) Studying the care network from patients’ perspective throughout the implementation of an innovation in primary care to improve access to team-based care.

Reza Yousefi Nooraie is a postdoctoral fellow at Institute of health Policy, Management, and Evaluation (IHPME) at University of Toronto. His main line of interest includes the application of a social network analysis lens to inform and promote the process of knowledge translation and program implementation. He is especially interested in designing network interventions, and studying networks as the outcome of the implementation. He has applied network analysis in various contexts including co-authorship, information seeking and influential discussions in health care settings, and partnerships among health organizations.

Link to recording: