Abstract for:Falling for the wrong ‘solution’? – A dynamic decision support tool for national osteoporosis-related health policy in Australia

Osteoporosis significantly increases the risk of minimal trauma fractures, which are debilitating to individuals and costly to the health systems. Despite significant advances in prevention and treatment, the number of minimal trauma fractures experienced by people over the age of 50 in Australia continues to rise. A system dynamics model of the incidence of minimal trauma fractures, and their relationship to overall bone health, was created. The model centres on defined pathways within the healthcare systems where patients receive preventative or post-fracture care and support. A participatory approach was applied in the model development process, bringing together 28 Australian leaders in chronic disease research, industry, and policy in the development of the model. A detailed economic analysis was embedded within the model to forecast the costs to the federal government, state governments and consumers of different policy scenarios. An interactive user interface was created to allow users with no modelling experience to interact with the model and its output. Six scenarios were simulated resulting in several policy-relevant insights. We also discuss the successes and challenges we experienced in terms of engaging policy-makers in the modelling process, building systems thinking capacity, and using SD modelling as a platform for building consensus.