Computational Modeling and Multilevel Cancer Control Interventions

Published in: JNCI, Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, v. 2012, no. 44, May 2012, p. 56-66

Posted on on May 01, 2012

by Joseph P. Morrissey, Kristen Hassmiller Lich, Rebecca Anhang Price, Jeanne S. Mandelblatt

Read More

Access further information on this document at JNCI

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This chapter presents an overview of computational modeling as a tool for multilevel cancer care and intervention research. Model-based analyses have been conducted at various "beneath the skin" or biological scales as well as at various "above the skin" or socioecological levels of cancer care delivery. We review the basic elements of computational modeling and illustrate its applications in four cancer control intervention areas: tobacco use, colorectal cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, and racial disparities in access to breast cancer care. Most of these models have examined cancer processes and outcomes at only one or two levels. We suggest ways these models can be expanded to consider interactions involving three or more levels. Looking forward, a number of methodological, structural, and communication barriers must be overcome to create useful computational models of multilevel cancer interventions and population health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.