PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Health Sciences I.

Graph Theoretical Approach to Analyzing the Communication Networks of Health Development Offices: Influencing Positive Health Behaviors in the Elderly Hungarian Population


Peter Domjan1, Viola Angyal1, Dr. habil. Istvan Vingender2
1: Semmelweis University, Doctoral College, Health Sciences Division
2: Semmelweis University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Social Sciences

Text of the abstract

Our research addresses the communication channels of Health Development Offices (HDOs) in Hungary and their impact on elderly health behavior, with a gerontosociological lens examining the factors influencing the acceptance of preventive services. An essential factor is how old people can get appropriate information and what the main type of communication.

It is important to map the communication strategy of the HDOs and the preventive services provided to the elderly by the county, addressing the investigation of inequalities as well. With the help of graph theory, we aim to identify the types of preventive programs provided by HDOs to the elderly and the channels through which they are advertised.

A comprehensive study encompassed a questionnaire survey (n=44; N=108 HDOs), and we collected the accessibility of websites and social media pages of 108 Health Development Offices (HDOs). During the analysis of web-based data, we examined the types and frequencies of preventive services offered to the elderly by these offices. Our goal was to create a graph based on the collected data, where the nodes represent the Health Development Offices (N=108) and the edges represent the communication of prevention programs links. For graph programming, we used MS Excel and the Gephi 0.1 graph visualization software.

The analysis revealed varied communication ways and elderly health prevention programmes of HDOs with significant underrepresentation in certain counties, indicating potential inequalities in access and communication. Based on the results of the questionnaire survey (n=44), it can be stated that 89% of the Health Development Offices provide preventive services for the elderly, which was also confirmed by the graph analysis.

The study highlights the critical role of HDOs in delivering preventive health services to the elderly. It suggests that while HDOs service and communication for the aging population are not uniformly distributed, they are vital in gerontological health promotion. The need for strategic expansion of these offices is evident to ensure equitable health opportunities across all regions. The findings contribute to understanding the sociological and communication factors affecting elderly health decisions in Hungary.

Not applicable.