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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 465
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Epidemiology
Abstract - #306136
Title: Estimating Workplace Contact Networks, Adjusting for Reporting Errors
Author(s): Gail Potter*+ and Timo Smieszek and Kerstin Sailer
Companies: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Penn State University and University College London
Address: 1100 Fairview Ave. N, M2-C200, Seattle, WA, 98109, United States
Keywords: contact network ; social network ; measurement error ; latent variable ; network ; workplace

Acute respiratory infections, such as influenza, are transmitted via face-to-face social contacts. Understanding the contact network properties can improve our understanding of disease transmission and our ability to design effective interventions. Homes, schools, and workplaces are key mixing groups for infectious disease transmission, but few studies have collected workplace contact data and estimated workplace contact networks. Many epidemic models rely on the standard "random mixing" assumption to approximate workplace contact behavior: people within mixing groups contact all others with equal probability. We use contact diaries, architectural distance measures, and social structure to estimate social contact networks within one workplace, a Swiss research institute. Contact diary respondents reported the identity of each contact, and some reports were inconsistent. The inconsistent reports shed light into the extent of unreported contacts, allowing us to quantify measurement error. We use a latent variable model to jointly estimate the true (unobserved) network of contacts as well as duration-specific reporting probabilities.

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