Assessing the congruence between perceived connectivity and network centrality measures specific to pandemic influenza preparedness in Alberta

Hall, Justin N.; Moore, Spencer; Shiell, Alan
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p124
Academic Journal
Background: Recent research has suggested that perceived organizational connectivity may serve as an important measure of public health preparedness. Presumably, organizations with higher perceived connectivity also have a greater number of actual organizational ties. Using network analysis, we evaluate this presumption by assessing the correlation between perceived organizational connectivity and reported inter-organizational connections. Methods: During late 2007-early 2008, representatives from organizations involved in the delivery of public health systems in Alberta were asked to complete an online questionnaire on public health preparedness. Organizational jurisdictional information was collected. Items from Dorn and colleagues connectivity scale (2007) were used to measure perceived organizational connectivity. Inter-organizational network data on formal connections in the area of pandemic influenza preparedness were collected using a roster approach. These data were imported into UCINET to calculate in- and out-degree centrality scores for each organization. One-way ANOVA tests assessed if perceived connectivity and in- and out-degree centrality varied among jurisdictions. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to assess the correlation of perceived connectivity and in- and out-degree centrality. Results: Significant mean differences among jurisdictions were observed for in-degree (F(3,116) = 26.60, p < 0.001) and between provincial and lower jurisdictions for out-degree centrality (F(3,116) = 5.24, p < 0.01). Higher jurisdictions had higher average centrality. Perceived organizational connectivity was correlated with out-degree (r(123) = 0.22, p < 0.05) but not in-degree centrality (r(123) = -0.07, p > 0.05). Conclusions: The results suggest in terms of pandemic preparedness that perceived connectivity may serve as a partial proxy measure of formal out-degree network connectivity.


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