Abstract for: Boundary Objects for Group Model Building to Explore Oral Health Equity

This paper describes the nature and utility of boundary objects that were developed as a means of facilitating team collaboration in group model-building sessions. Assembled on an NIH-funded grant, the team is charged with integrating social and systems science approaches to promote oral health equity for older adults. The project was designed to conduct group model-building sessions in parallel to efforts to collect qualitative data about factors that hinder or facilitate access to and utilization of oral health care. The modeling team takes a portfolio approach to incorporate different methods of systems science including system dynamics, agent-based modeling, geographic information science, and social network simulation in models that help to explore challenges to oral health equity for older adults.