Abstract for: Community-Based System Dynamics and Group Model Building Application to Public Health: A Systematic Review

Public health issues are often remarkably complex— extended across multiple social systems, addressed within multiple institutions, and influenced by historical and contemporary political and socio-cultural norms. As such, public health issues and approaches are dynamic, nonlinear, and ever-in-flux. Systems thinking can aid public health practitioners in envisioning population health as complex and adaptive systems. This allows for a more nuanced conceptualization of health experiences as embedded in nested social ecologies, but also as dynamic, interconnected, and engaging with social, structural, behavioral, and biological determinants of health, and influenced by systems of sociopolitical power. CBSD is a promising method for understanding complex public health systems, as well as for identifying feedback loops that perpetuate health and social inequity, creating novel opportunities for innovative interventions that meaningfully consider social and structural determinants and sociopolitical landscapes over time (Matson et al., 2021). Unfortunately, CBSD has not realized much traction in public health, particularly within the U.S. This systematic review aims to evaluate how CBSD and qualitative GMB methodologies have been used to examine, understand, and address complex public health challenges across the globe. To our knowledge, our study is the first to systematically review use of CBSD within the discipline of public health.