Date of Conferral





Public Health


Dr. JI R. Shen


Epidemiologic systems failure (ESF) is a major hurdle in minimizing the spread of infectious diseases during outbreaks. The reasons for ESF include the technical limitation of personnel handling epidemic crises, strictly defined health policies that limit the actions of epidemiologists, and personal perspective's reservations towards the intentions of health agencies. The purpose of this triumvirate mixed-methods case study was to examine factors of infectious disease control mechanisms useful for determining ESF. Three juxtaposed pre-emptive factors (technical [T], organizational [O], and personal [P] perspectives were used to determine how the multiple perspectives inquiring systems and fuzzy logic revealed factors causing ESF so that remedial tools may be constructed. The juxtaposed ESF-TOP model formed the research theoretical framework and allowed for clustering the ESF factors. Data sources were direct quotations from TOP based secondary data of 4 well-publicized participants; who had Ebola, HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis, or Typhoid disease; and randomized quantitative TOP hypothetical data sets were created with Microsoft Excel software and used to model an Ebola outbreak of 10 theoretical subjects. Data were analyzed using TOP guidelines from which T, O, and P perspective themes emerged. The findings indicated that a disjointed TOP perspective specifies a serious ESF, a strictly overlapped TOP indicates an effective containment of ESF, and the overall fuzzy set with T given O and P indicates the actual ESF. The findings may result in positive social change by helping epidemiologists identify critical outbreak control factors which may minimize the outbreak impact.

Included in

Epidemiology Commons