The Inflection Point Model: A Model to Explore the Hidden Burdens of Non–Cancerous Genitourinary Conditions


      To propose a conceptual model to identify points along the condition course where actions or inaction affect downstream burdens of non–cancerous genitourinary conditions (NCGUC).


      The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) convened an interdisciplinary meeting to comprehensively consider the burdens of NCGUCs. Subsequently, the authors met monthly to conceptualize the model.


      Inflection points (IP) describe time points during a condition course that are sensitive to change. Our proposed Inflection Point Model (IPM) helps conceptualize burden/benefit trade-offs in any related decision and provides a platform to identify the downstream aggregate burden of a NCGUC across multiple socio-ecological levels at a single time point, which may be summed across the condition course to measure cumulative burden. Two personae demonstrate the utility of this model to better understand impacts of 2 common NCGUCs.


      The IPM may be applied in multiple contexts: narrowly to explore burden of a single NCGUC at a single IP; or more broadly, to address multiple conditions, multiple IPs, or multiple domains/levels of social ecology. Applying the IPM may entail combining population data describing prevalence of NCGUCs, associated behaviors, and resulting outcome patterns that can be combined with suitable mathematical models to quantify aggregate and cumulative burden. The IPM challenges stakeholders to expand from the individual to include broader levels of social ecology. Application of the IPM will undoubtedly identify data gaps and research needs that must be fulfilled to delineate and address the burden of NCGUCs.
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