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Research Methods in Healthcare Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Stewardship—Mathematical Modeling

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 August 2016

Sean L. Barnes*
Department of Decision, Operations & Information Technologies, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Parastu Kasaie
Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Deverick J. Anderson
Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
Michael Rubin
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah
Address correspondence to Sean L. Barnes, PhD, Department of Decision, Operations & Information Technologies, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, 4352 Van Munching Hall, 7699 Mowatt Ln, College Park, MD 20742-1815 (


Mathematical modeling is a valuable methodology used to study healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship, particularly when more traditional study approaches are infeasible, unethical, costly, or time consuming. We focus on 2 of the most common types of mathematical modeling, namely compartmental modeling and agent-based modeling, which provide important advantages—such as shorter developmental timelines and opportunities for extensive experimentation—over observational and experimental approaches. We summarize these advantages and disadvantages via specific examples and highlight recent advances in the methodology. A checklist is provided to serve as a guideline in the development of mathematical models in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;1–7

SHEA White Papers
© 2016 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved 

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