Generic Patient Flow Causal Loop Diagram

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We start with a normal population of people who are not afflicted, of which a fraction develop a disease over time. These new cases arising per year are referred to as the true incidence rate. These new cases flow into a stock of undiagnosed patients, some of whom die undiagnosed and some are seen by clinicians, diagnosed and placed on treatment. This flow from undiagnosed to diagnosed is referred to as the diagnosed incidence and the rate of flow is the diagnosis rate. Some diseases with the rapid onset of unpleasant symptoms are diagnosed and treated quickly, whereas chronic diseases with insidious onset, like dementia, diabetes and hypertension can take years to diagnose. On being diagnosed and treated, patients flow into the stock of currently treated patients. From here they can die treated or discontinue, then later re-initiate treatment.

Fig. 1 - Incidence Diagnosis and Treatment Causal Loop Diagram [Source]


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