Best Practices for Modeling Egocentric Social Network Data and Health Outcomes

Social network analysis (SNA) has been used to evaluate healthcare topics such as obesity, violence, substance abuse, healthcare organization, and healthcare utilization. A recent study featuring by past PISC trainee Alison Culyba, MD, PhD, MPH, describes how to model egocentric network and health outcomes in which the team introduces a coherent five-step approach to modeling egocentric networks. The approach includes model selection, social network exposure, covariate selection related to sociodemographic and health characteristics, covariate selection related to social network characteristics, and analytic considerations. In the future, researchers can utilize this “powerful repertoire of techniques” to gain an accurate understanding of the impact Social Network has on health outcomes.

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