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NAQC Newsroom: Research

KIQNIC Identifies Relationship Brokers in Quitline Network

Wednesday, March 9, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
One of the analyses in the social network analysis component of KIQNIC is to calculate the betweenness centrality of the organizations involved in the NAQC network. Betweenness centrality is a measure that describes which organizations are central in the network based on their broker role, connecting other organizations that would not otherwise be connected.

Based on responses to the 2009 KIQNIC survey, out of the 94 quitline funder and provider organizations in the North American quitline network, the following are the five funders and five providers that have the highest scores for betweenness centrality (in order of decreasing betweenness centrality):

Funders: Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Virginia Department of Health, Alabama Department of Public Health - Tobacco Prevention & Control and New York State Department of Health (tied).

Providers: Free & Clear Inc., American Cancer Society, National Jewish Health, University of California San Diego, Canadian Cancer Society - Ontario Division.

Principal Investigator Scott Leischow remarks, "We expected to see providers that serve multiple states or provinces to have higher betweenness scores. But our data show that's not always the case. Why is that? And what is it that might determine significant differences in funders' betweenness scores? Some of these answers we'll find as we look at other data we collected through our surveys, and others we'll discover through discussions with the NAQC KIQNIC Advisory Group. We are just beginning to analyze the responses to the 2010 survey, and so it will be interesting to see if the same quitlines have the highest betweenness centrality one year later. Seeing how the relationships between organizations and quitlines in the network change over time, and working with NAQC members to figure out reasons for the changes, and what that could mean for future development of the quitline network is an important part of the KIQNIC project."

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