Developing a risk assessment method for infectious diseases focusing on COVID-19 based on the Delphi method and fuzzy analytical hierarchy process

Work. 2022 Aug 17. doi: 10.3233/WOR-220084. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Given the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) risk, it is essential to develop a comprehensive risk assessment method to manage the risk of the infectious diseases.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop a risk assessment method for infectious diseases focusing on COVID-19.

METHOD: This study was based on the fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) and fuzzy analytical hierarchical process (FAHP) in three steps: (a) designing the preliminary risk assessment algorithm by reviewing the literature, (b) corroborating the designed structure based on the majority opinions of the expert panel and assigning scores to different factors according to the Delphi method, and (c) determining the weight of components and their factors based on the FAHP.

RESULTS: The COVID-19 risk index (CVRI) was found to be affected by four components and 19 factors. The four components consisted of the probability of getting sick (5 factors), disease severity (4 factors), health beliefs level (3 factors), and exposure rate (6 factors). The identified components and their relevant factors had different weights and effects on the CVIR. The weights of probability, severity, health beliefs level, and exposure rate components were 0.27, 0.20, 0.14, and 0.38, respectively. The CVRI was found to range from 0.54 to 0.82, defined in three levels.

CONCLUSION: Given the significant effects of identified components, factors, and parameters on the incidence of COVID-19 on the one hand and using the FDM and FAHP on the other, the proposed method can be considered as an appropriate method for managing the risk of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

PMID:35988256 | DOI:10.3233/WOR-220084

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