Social Network Analysis in Health Lecture Series

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About the lecture series 

Social networks are ubiquitous in our social and health behavior. They play a central role in the transmission of health information and risky health behaviors. Social networks are defined as ‘the patterns of friendship, advice, communication, and support that exist among members of a system.’

This lecture series, led by Marlon Mundt, PhD, provides an overview and synthesis of research utilizing social network analysis in relation to health, drawing on studies by sociologists, economists, computer scientists, physicians and health services researchers.

The lecture series also provides a basis for understanding how social network data are collected and processed; how to calculate appropriate network measures; and how to apply statistical modeling of social network effects to health behaviors and healthcare provision.

Additionally, the presentations examine social networks of health organizations and their relation to patient outcomes.

What does this lecture series cover?

This lecture series covers the following topics:

  • Part 1: History of network science; Terminology, network representations, and types of network data; Network instrument development, data collection tools and procedures.
  • Part 2: Social network visualization and data metrics; Positional analysis, centrality, and prestige; Community analysis, groups, and subgroups.
  • Part 3: Social networks in health care organizations; Testing hypotheses on social network structures.

This series consists of three hour-long lectures, organized as a 45-50 minute presentation followed by 10-15 minutes of question-answer/discussion. 

Reading suggestions to accompany each lecture are also provided.

Who should view this lecture series?

This series is intended for healthcare researchers and practitioners who are interested in the impact of social network effects on health and healthcare provision.

Development of this toolkit

This lecture series was developed by Marlon Mundt, PhD, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine & Public Health – Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

This project was supported by grant AA018410 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Additional support was provided by the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement in the University of Wisconsin – Madison College of Engineering, and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Health Innovation Program (HIP), the Wisconsin Partnership Program, and the Community-Academic Partnerships core of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW ICTR), grant 9 U54 TR000021 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or other funders.

Toolkit Citation

Mundt M. “Social Network Analysis, Healthcare Teams, and Communication Lecture Series.” Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, and UW Health Innovation Program; 2016. Available at:

About the Developer

This series is led by Marlon Mundt, PhD, Associate Professor in the University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and in the Department Population Health Sciences. He has authored or co-authored over 80 research articles and 3 book chapters on health economics and primary care. Dr. Mundt’s current research focuses on social networks in primary care teams in relation to patient outcomes. He is the recipient of a K01 Research Development Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study the impact of social networks on health outcomes and healthcare costs.