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Topic 1: Key questions

What is the best way to make use of modeling results you come across? Click the plus signs to learn more about questions you should ask when analyzing a mathematical modeling study.

These questions help us consider the value the modeling brings to advancing advocacy efforts or public health goals. Consider whether the modeling question is interesting for your own advocacy or target audience. Think about whether you might have asked the question differently, and if so, how?

Consider which stakeholders might be interested in the modeling question(s) or influenced by the results.

Context tells us the geographic setting in which the modeling was applied and how to apply these findings to different settings. 

Timeframe is the range of time the modeling includes, which helps us gauge how relevant the findings are to our respective settings.

What data sources were used? When were the data collected? These questions help us interpret the modeling results and consider if other data or sources should have been used. What assumptions did the modelers use? Are these assumptions valid? Would you have considered different assumptions?

It is important to distinguish between the actual findings from the model and the possible implications. Results are usually depicted in tables or graphs and the title of these provide valuable information.

Think about how applicable the findings might be to other settings. Can the findings be generalized or do they only apply to the particular setting in which the modeling took place? What are the limitations of the modeling? Think about your own country or context: Is it similar? Is it different? How so? Can you apply the findings from the modeling to your own context or setting?

 From the modeling results, what will your target audience be most interested in? Does your audience align with one of the risk groups examined in the study? What would you say to them about this study? What value do the findings from the modeling bring to your particular setting? How do these findings relate to your priority advocacy issue?