INFORMS Open Forum

Topic: Extension to submission deadline: special issue of JORS on Healthcare Behavioural OR 

1.  Extension to submission deadline: special issue of JORS on Healthcare Behavioural OR

Posted 12-02-2017 10:05

New deadline: Friday January 12th 2018

Journal of the Operational Research Society

Special issue on "Healthcare Behavioural OR"

Guest Editors

Sally Brailsford1, Michael Carter2, Paul Harper3 and Kostantinos V. Katsikopoulos1,4

1. University of Southampton, UK
2. University of Toronto, Canada
3. Cardiff University, UK
4. Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany

Deadline for submissions: 12th January 2018

Behavioural Operational Research (BOR) is defined as the study of behavioural aspects related to the use of OR methods in modelling, problem solving and decision support (Hämäläinen et al, 2013). BOR may broadly be considered within three categories: behaviour in models (methods), behaviour with models (actors) and behaviour beyond models (praxis) (Franco and Hämäläinen, 2017).

As comprehensive reviews of the application of OR to healthcare (e.g. Brailsford et al, 2009; Hulshof et al, 2012) reveal, relatively little prior consideration has been devoted to behavioural aspects in this field. Contrast this state of affairs with the need for behaviourally informed approaches in important issues of healthcare, such as:

• Patient and staff behaviours relating to services and patient access to them, including service design, patient no-shows, provider response to congestion;
• Patients' understanding of public health campaigns, including screening and treatment recommendations, and the decision making of patients;
• The importance of behaviours from a policy maker's perspective and distinguishing between what some traditional OR models might deem 'optimal' solutions versus practical solutions. This may include the need to consider aspects such as public perception, workforce response, financial accountability, media coverage etc. and their influence on changes to health policy;
• Physicians' understanding of the benefits and risks of recommendations, and the decision-making support physicians provide;
• Effects of patients' social networks on the transmission, propagation, and reaction to disease.

The aim of this Special Issue is to engage those working within OR for healthcare who have an interest in behavioural aspects and how this impacts on theory and application. We will consider conceptual, modelling, and empirical manuscripts provided they take a behaviourally informed approach, and they seek to create a new body of knowledge concerning the role and impact of behavioural factors such as, but not limited to, those illustrated above. We welcome submissions across all three categories of BOR as defined earlier i.e. behaviour in models, behaviour with models and behaviour beyond models.

Instructions for Authors:

Each paper will be peer-reviewed according to the editorial policy of the journal. Papers should be original, unpublished, and not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Before submitting manuscripts authors are advised to ensure that they have conformed to the requirements detailed in the instructions to authors that can be found on the journal homepage. Manuscripts which are incorrectly formatted or do not contain all the required elements may be returned to authors for correction prior to review.

When submitting a paper, authors select ''Healthcare Behavioural OR" from the Special Issue list to ensure that your manuscript is considered for this issue.


Brailsford SC, Harper PR, Patel B, and Pitt M (2009) "An analysis of the academic literature on simulation and modeling in healthcare". Journal of Simulation. 3: 130-140.

Franco LA and Hämäläinen RP, "Engaging with Behavioral Operational Research: On Methods, Actors and Praxis". In "Behavioral Operational Research: Theory, Methodology and Practice", Eds Martin Kunc, Jonathan Malpass and Leroy White. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 3-25.

Hämäläinen, R. P., Luoma, J., Saarinen, E. (2013): On the importance of behavioral operational research: The case of understanding and communicating about dynamic systems. European Journal of Operational Research, 228(3): 623-634.

Hulshof PJH, Kortbeek N, Boucherie RJ, Hans EW and Bakker PJM (2012), "Taxonomic classification of planning decisions in health care: a structured review of the state of the art in OR/MS". Health Systems, 1(2): 129-175.

Michael Carter
University of Toronto
Toronto ON