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Interactive Journal of Medical Research

A new general medical journal for the 21st centrury, focusing on innovation in health and medical research


Journal Description

i-JMR is a general medical journal with a focus on innovation in health, health care, and medicine - through new medical techniques and innovative ideas and/or research, including - but not limited to - technology, clinical informatics, sociotechnical and organizational health care innovations, or groundbreaking research.

Published by JMIR Publications, publisher of JMIR, the leading eHealth/mHealth journal (Impact Factor 2016: 5.175), i-JMR is a JMIR "sister journal" with a projected impact factor of about 2.03 (2016). which features a rapid and thorough peer-review process, professional copyediting, professional production of PDF, XHTML, and XML proofs.

i-JMR is indexed in PubMed and archived in PubMed Central.

i-JMR is also indexed in Clarivate Analytics (formerly the IP and Science Division of Thomson Reuters) new Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).


Recent Articles:

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: SD5432SD; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    How, When and Why People Seek Health Information Online: Qualitative Study in Hong Kong


    Background: The Internet has become an established source for health information. The number of individuals using the Internet to search for health information, ranging from healthy lifestyle advice to treatment and diseases, continues to grow. Scholars have emphasized the need to give greater voice and influence to health consumers. Hong Kong, being one of the most technologically advanced and connected cities in the world, has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the world. Given the dearth of research in an Asian context, Hong Kong is an excellent platform to study individuals’ perceptions (eg, benefits and limitations on seeking health information online and how the information is used) on health information seeking. Objective: The aim of this paper was to study individuals’ perceptions on health information seeking and to document their Internet information–seeking behaviors. Methods: Five focus groups (n=49) were conducted from November 2015 to January 2016 with individuals across different age groups (18 years or above). Focus group contents were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis techniques. Results: Older (55+ years) and less educated respondents were less likely to use the Internet to search for health information. Among individuals who obtained health information via the Internet, regardless of the severity of the health issue, the Internet was always the first source for information. Limited doctor consultation time and barriers to accessing professional health services were the main reasons for using the Internet. Convenience and coverage were regarded as the main advantages, whereas credibility and trustworthiness of health information were noted as limitations. The use of Web-based health information varied among individuals; hence, the implications on the doctor-patient relationship were mixed. Conclusions: The prevalent and increasing use of the Internet for health information seeking suggests the need for health care professionals to understand how it can be optimally utilized to improve health outcomes. Strategies for communicating and disseminating credible health information in a form that users can understand and use are essential. Due to the rapid technological and related behavioral changes, online health information seeking and its effects need to be closely monitored.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Michal Jarmoluk; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Shaping an Effective Health Information Website on Rare Diseases Using a Group Decision-Making Tool: Inclusion of the Perspectives of Patients, Their Family...


    Background: Despite diverging definitions on rare conditions, people suffering from rare diseases share similar difficulties. A lack of experience by health professionals, a long wait from first symptoms to diagnosis, scarce medical and scientific knowledge, and unsatisfactory treatment options all trigger the search for health information by patients, family members, and physicians. Examining and systematically integrating stakeholder needs can help design information platforms that effectively support this search. Objective: The aim of this study was to innovate on the group decision-making process involving patients, family members, and physicians for the establishment of a national rare disease Internet platform. We determined differences in the relevance of health information—especially examining quantifiable preference weights—between these subgroups and elucidated the structure and distribution of these differences in people suffering from rare diseases, their family members, and physicians, thus providing information crucial to their collaboration. Methods: The included items were identified using a systematic Internet research and verified through a qualitative interview study. The identified major information needs included medical issues, research, social help offers, and current events. These categories further comprised sublevels of diagnosis, therapy, general disease pattern, current studies, study results, registers, psychosocial counseling, self-help, and sociolegal advice. The analytic hierarchy process was selected as the group decision-making tool. A sensitivity analysis was used to determine the stability and distribution of results. t tests were utilized to examine the results’ significance. Results: A total of 176 questionnaires were collected; we excluded some questionnaires in line with our chosen consistency level of 0.2. Ultimately, 120 patients, 24 family members, and 32 physicians participated in the study (48 men and 128 women, mean age=48 years, age range=17-87 years). Rankings and preference weights were highly heterogeneous. Global ranking positions of patients, family members, and physicians are shown in parentheses, as follows: medical issues (3/4, 4, 4), research (3/4, 2/3, 3), social help offers (1, 2/3, 2), and current events (2, 1, 1); diagnosis (6, 8, 9), therapy (5, 9, 7), general disease pattern (9, 4/5/6, 6), current studies (7, 4/5/6, 3), study results (8, 7, 8), registers (4, 1, 5), psychosocial counseling (1, 2, 4), self-help (3, 3, 2), and sociolegal advice (2, 4/5/6, 1). Differences were verified for patients for 5 information categories (P=.03), physicians for 6 information categories (P=.03), and family members for 4 information categories (P=.04). Conclusions: Our results offer a clear-cut information structure that can transparently translate group decisions into practice. Furthermore, we found different preference structures for rare disease information among patients, family members, and physicians. Some websites already address differences in comprehension between those subgroups. Similar to pharmaceutical companies, health information providers on rare diseases should also acknowledge different information needs to improve the accessibility of information.

  • Physician listening to baby's heart. Source: Flickr; Copyright: Thomas Lillis IV; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-ND).

    “A Phenomenal Person and Doctor”: Thank You Letters to Medical Care Providers


    Background: Thank you letters to physicians and medical facilities are an untapped resource, providing an invaluable glimpse into what patients notice and appreciate in their care. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze such thank you letters as posted on the Web by medical institutions to find what patients and families consider to be good care. In an age of patient-centered care, it is pivotal to see what metrics patients and families apply when assessing their care and whether they grasp specific versus general qualities in their care. Methods: Our exploratory inquiry covered 100 thank you letters posted on the Web by 26 medical facilities in the United States and the United Kingdom. We systematically coded and descriptively presented the aspects of care that patients and their families thanked doctors and medical facilities for. We relied on previous work outlining patient priorities and satisfaction (Anderson et al, 2007), to which we added a distinction between global and specific evaluations for each of the already existing categories with two additional categories: general praise and other, and several subcategories, such as treatment outcome, to the category of medical care. Results: In 73% of the letters (73/100), physicians were primarily thanked for their medical treatment. In 71% (71/100) of the letters, they were thanked for their personality and demeanor. In 52% cases (52/100), these two aspects were mentioned together, suggesting that from the perspective of patient as well as the family member, both are deemed necessary in positive evaluation of medical care. Only 8% (8/100) of the letters lacked reference to medical care, personality or demeanor, or communication. No statistically significant differences were observed in the number of letters that expressed gratitude for the personality or demeanor of medical care providers versus the quality of medical care (χ21, N=200=0.1, not statistically significant). Letters tended to express more specific praise for personality or demeanor, such as being supportive, understanding, humane and caring (48/71, 68%) but more general praise for medical care (χ21, N=424=63.9, P<.01). The most often mentioned specific quality of medical care were treatment outcomes (30/73, 41%), followed by technical competence (15/73, 21%) and treatment approach (14/73, 19%). A limitation of this inquiry is that we analyzed the letters that medical centers chose to post on the Web. These are not necessarily a representative sample of all thank you letters as are sent to health care institutions but are still indicative of what centers choose to showcase on the Web. Conclusions: Physician demeanor and quality of interaction with patients are pivotal in how laymen perceive good care, no less so than medical care per se. This inquiry can inform care providers and medical curricula, leading to an improvement in the perceived quality of care.

  • Source:; Copyright: Ambro; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Willingness to Pay for Elderly Telecare Service Using the Internet and Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting


    Background: In Japan over the past few years, more attention has been focused on unnoticed solitary death in the context of an aging society and the trend toward nuclear family. A number of institutions and companies have implemented a prevention measure with digital terrestrial broadcasting telecare services for the elderly: Hokkaido University; TV-Asahi Corporation; Hitachi, Ltd; Iwamizawa City; Hokkaido Television Broadcasting Co, Ltd; and Hamanasu Information Co, Ltd. Although this system is provided free of charge as a demonstration test, determining the appropriate price for the service is required for its sustainable operation. Objective: The aim of this study was to quantify individual willingness to pay (WTP) so as to test the tenability of digital terrestrial broadcasting service for elderly telecare. Methods: We used the contingent valuation method (CVM) to estimate the WTP for this service among 305 citizens (valid response rate 76.0%) living in Japan. A questionnaire survey was conducted for people aged 18 to 100 years according to Japanese age distribution from September 2016. To elicit WTP, we adopted a double-bound dichotomous choice method to ask the respondents whether they agree or disagree with the price we offered. Results: The median WTP for this service’s monthly fee is estimated to be 431 JPY (approximately US $3.7). The finding suggests that gender (0.66, P=.01), health consciousness (1.08, P=.01), willingness to use (2.38, P<.001), and seeing others less than once a week (1.00, P=.06) made a positive effect on WTP. Conclusions: We conclude that reliable WTP was elicited by CVM based on an Internet survey. Calculated median WTP for digital terrestrial broadcasting service for elderly telecare was 431 JPY (approximately US $3.7). In the analysis of factors that affect WTP, constant factors, log-bid, health consciousness, gender, see others less than one time for week, and willingness to use made positive effect to probability of acceptance. In comparison of WTP in different groups, age groups showed that WTP of the elderly group was higher than WTP of the middle age group and younger age group. However, WTP surveys need to be carefully conducted to minimize the sampling bias and allocate accurate structure of gender distribution.

  • An infant in a neonatal intensive care unit. Source: Wikimedia Commons; Copyright: Jacoplane; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    A Strategy to Reduce Critical Cardiorespiratory Alarms due to Intermittent Enteral Feeding of Preterm Neonates in Intensive Care


    Background: Many preterm infants require enteral feeding as they cannot coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing. In enteral feeding, milk feeds are delivered through a small feeding tube passed via the nose or mouth into the stomach. Intermittent milk feeds may either be administered using a syringe to gently push milk into the infant’s stomach (push feed) or milk can be poured into a syringe attached to the tube and allowed to drip in by gravity (gravity feed). This practice of enteral feeding is common in neonatal intensive care units. There is, however, no evidence in the literature to recommend the use of one method of feeding over the other. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate which of the two methods of feeding is physiologically better tolerated by infants, as measured by the incidence of critical cardiorespiratory alarms during and immediately after feeding. Methods: We conducted a prospectively designed observational study with records of all feeding episodes in infants of gestational age less than 30 weeks at birth and with a minimum enteral intake of 100 mL/kg/day. In total, 2140 enteral feeding episodes were noted from 25 infants over 308 infant-days with records for several characteristics of the infants (eg, gestational age), feeding (eg, the position of infants), and of nursing-care events before feeding (eg, diapering). Logistic regression with mixed effects was used to model cardiorespiratory alarms for the push and gravity methods of feeding. Results: After adjustments were made for all confounding variables, the position of infants was found to be statistically significant in changing the outcome of critical alarms for the two methods of feeding (P=.02). For infants in the lateral position, push feeds led to 40% more instances of one or more critical cardiorespiratory alarms in comparison with the gravity method. Both methods of feeding created a statistically comparable number of alarms for infants in the prone position. Conclusions: This study provides objective data that may assist in optimizing enteral feeding protocols for premature infants. The incidence of critical cardiorespiratory alarms for infants in the lateral position can be lowered by the use of gravity instead of push feeding. No differences were observed between the two types of feeding when infants were in the prone position.

  • Alzheimer's disease on YouTube (montage). Source: YouTube /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Alzheimer’s Disease in Social Media: Content Analysis of YouTube Videos


    Background: Approximately 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in 2017. YouTube is a popular platform for disseminating health information; however, little is known about messages specifically regarding AD that are being communicated through YouTube. Objective: This study aims to examine video characteristics, content, speaker characteristics, and mobilizing information (cues to action) of YouTube videos focused on AD. Methods: Videos uploaded to YouTube from 2013 to 2015 were searched with the term “Alzheimer’s disease” on April 30th, 2016. Two coders viewed the videos and coded video characteristics (the date when a video was posted, Uniform Resource Locator, video length, audience engagement, format, author), content, speaker characteristics (sex, race, age), and mobilizing information. Descriptive statistics were used to examine video characteristics, content, audience engagement (number of views), speaker appearances in the video, and mobilizing information. Associations between variables were examined using Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests. Results: Among the 271 videos retrieved, 25.5% (69/271) were posted by nonprofit organizations or universities. Informal presentations comprised 25.8% (70/271) of all videos. Although AD symptoms (83/271, 30.6%), causes of AD (80/271, 29.5%), and treatment (76/271, 28.0%) were commonly addressed, quality of life of people with AD (34/271, 12.5%) had more views than those more commonly-covered content areas. Most videos featured white speakers (168/187, 89.8%) who were adults aged 20 years to their early 60s (164/187, 87.7%). Only 36.9% (100/271) of videos included mobilizing information. Videos about AD symptoms were significantly less likely to include mobilizing information compared to videos without AD symptoms (23/83, 27.7% vs 77/188, 41.0% respectively; P=.03). Conclusions: This study contributes new knowledge regarding AD messages delivered through YouTube. Findings of the current study highlight a potential gap between available information and viewers’ interests. YouTube videos on AD could be beneficial if the messages delivered meet users’ needs and provide mobilizing information for further resources. Study findings will be useful to government agencies, researchers, nonprofit organizations that promote information about AD, and those responsible for social media to provide useful and accurate health information for the public.

  • Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Ditty_about_summer; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Internet Usage by Parents Prior to Seeking Care at a Pediatric Emergency Department: Observational Study


    Background: Little is known about how parents utilize medical information on the Internet prior to an emergency department (ED) visit. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the proportion of parents who accessed the Internet for medical information related to their child’s illness in the 24 hours prior to an ED visit (IPED), to identify the websites used, and to understand how the content contributed to the decision to visit the ED. Methods: A 40-question interview was conducted with parents presenting to an ED within a freestanding children’s hospital. If parents reported IPED, the number and names of websites were documented. Parents indicated the helpfulness of Web-based content using a 100-mm visual analog scale and the degree to which it contributed to the decision to visit the ED using 5-point Likert-type responses. Results: About 11.8 % (31/262) reported IPED (95% CI 7.3-5.3). Parents who reported IPED were more likely to have at least some college education (P=.04), higher annual household income (P=.001), and older children (P=.04) than those who did not report IPED. About 35% (11/31) could not name any websites used. Mean level of helpfulness of Web-based content was 62 mm (standard deviation, SD=25 mm). After Internet use, some parents (29%, 9/31) were more certain they needed to visit the ED, whereas 19% (6/31) were less certain. A majority (87%, 195/224) of parents who used the Internet stated that they would be somewhat likely or very likely to visit a website recommended by a physician. Conclusions: Nearly 1 out of 8 parents presenting to an urban pediatric ED reported using the Internet in the 24 hours prior to the ED visit. Among privately insured, at least one in 5 parents reported using the Internet prior to visiting the ED. Web-based medical information often influences decision making regarding ED utilization. Pediatric providers should provide parents with recommendations for high-quality sources of health information available on the Internet.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Social Media and Multiple Sclerosis in the Posttruth Age


    Over the last few decades, patients have increasingly been searching for health information on the Internet. This aspect of information seeking is really important, especially for people affected by chronic pathologies and require lifelong treatment and management. These people are usually very well informed about the disease, but are nonetheless vulnerable to hopes of being cured or saved, often amplified by misinformation, myths, legends, and therapies that are not always scientifically proven. Many studies suggest that some individuals prefer to rely on the Internet as their main source of information, often hindering the patient-doctor relationship. This is why a professional approach is imperative in this posttruth age, in order to maintain confidentiality, honesty, and trust in the medical profession.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Sara de Prado; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND).

    Quality of Patient Information Websites About Congenital Heart Defects: Mixed-Methods Study of Perspectives Among Individuals With Experience of a Prenatal...


    Background: When a heart defect is prenatally diagnosed in the fetus, expectant parents experience a great need for information about various topics. After the diagnosis, the Web is used for supplemental information, and the scarcity of research calls attention to the need to explore patient information websites from the perspectives of the intended consumers. Objective: The overarching aim of this study was to explore the quality of Swedish patient information websites about congenital heart defects, from the perspectives of individuals with experience of a prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart defect in the fetus. Methods: This was a mixed-methods study of websites identified through systematic searches in the two most used Web-based search engines. Of the total 80 screened hits, 10 hits led to patient information websites about congenital heart defects. A quality assessment tool inspired by a previous study was used to evaluate each website’s appearance, details, relevance, suitability, information about treatment choices, and overall quality. Answers were given on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1, representing the lowest score, to 5, representing the highest score. Each website was assessed individually by persons with experience of continued (n=4) and terminated (n=5) pregnancy following a prenatal diagnosis. Assessments were analyzed with Kendall’s coefficient of concordance W, Mann-Whitney U test, Friedman’s test, and a Wilcoxon-Nemenyi-McDonald-Thompson test. In addition, each assessor submitted written responses to open-ended questions in the quality assessment tool, and two joint focus group discussions were conducted with each group of assessors. The qualitative data were analyzed with inductive manifest content analysis. Results: Assessments represented a low score (median=2.0) for treatment choices and moderate scores (median=3.0) for appearance, details, relevance, suitability, and overall quality. No website had a median of the highest achievable score for any of the questions in the quality assessment tool. Medians of the lowest achievable score were found in questions about treatment choices (n=4 websites), details (n=2 websites), suitability (n=1 website), and overall quality (n=1 website). Websites had significantly different scores for appearance (P=.01), details (P<.001), relevance (P<.001), suitability (P<.001), treatment choices (P=.04), and overall quality (P<.001). The content analysis of the qualitative data generated six categories: (1) advertisements, (2) comprehensiveness, (3) design, (4) illustrations and pictures, (5) language, and (6) trustworthiness. Various issues with the included websites were highlighted, including the use of inappropriate advertisements, biased information, poor illustrations, complex language, and poor trustworthiness. Conclusions: From the perspectives of the intended consumers, patient information websites about congenital heart defects are, to a large extent, inadequate tools for supplemental information following a prenatal diagnosis. Health professionals should initiate discussions with patients about their intentions to use the Web, inform them about the varied quality in the Web-based landscape, and offer recommendations for appropriate Web-based sources.

  • Social media training in Hanoi. Source: Flickr; Copyright: David Brewer; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    Perceptions of Health-Related Information on Facebook: Cross-Sectional Study Among Vietnamese Youths


    Background: While health information websites may have previously been the core source of information about health-related conditions on the Internet, social networking sites are increasingly replacing those websites as a source of health-related information. The increasingly popularity of social networking sites among the general population has consequential impact on health policies as well as health-related interventions. To date, there remains a paucity of research conducted in developing countries like Vietnam looking at the influence of social networking sites. Objective: Our goal is to establish the baseline use of Facebook among Vietnamese youths and establish their perception of the reliability and usefulness of health-related information that they previously encountered while using the social networking site. Methods: An online cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2015 to October 2015. Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) technique was used in the recruitment of participants. Sociodemographic, health status, behaviors, Facebook use and belief of information on Facebook, and interpersonal influence of social network sites were collected via an online structured questionnaire. Results: Among 1080 participants, 72.87% (787/1080) reported being interested in health information on Facebook, and 50.74% (548/1080) and 17.50% (189/1080) perceived the information to be reliable and useful, respectively. A total of 10.93% (118/1080) of the participants also reported that they would follow the health advice they obtained from Facebook. Of significance, 7.13% (77/1080) of the participants also reported peer influences on their behavior. Factors that mediate Vietnamese perceptions of the information online include gender, level of perceived stress, age, educational level, and interpersonal influences from Facebook. Conclusions: Our study is perhaps one of the first conducted in Vietnam that looks at the relationship between health information on Facebook and factors that might influence young Vietnamese perceptions of the information and the consequential use of that information.

  • Source: Foter / FlickR; Copyright: FixersUK; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-ND).

    Internet Use and Access, Behavior, Cyberbullying, and Grooming: Results of an Investigative Whole City Survey of Adolescents


    Background: According to the Digital Agenda for Europe, the way children use the Internet and mobile technologies has changed dramatically in the past years. Objective: The aims of this study were to: (1) breakdown the modalities of access and use of the Internet by teenagers to assess risks and risky behaviors; and (2) provide scientific data to evaluate and counsel safe use of the Internet and new technologies by teenagers. Methods: The study was conducted under the program “Strategies for a Better Internet for Children” started in May 2012 by the European Commission. It represents the main result of the project launched by Telecom Italia, “Anche io ho qualcosa da dire” (I too have something to say), thanks to which many contributions were collected and used to develop a survey. The questionnaire was structured in 45 questions, covering three macro areas of interest. It was approved by the Department Board at University of Magna Graecia’s School of Medicine. After authorization from the regional high school authority, it was administered to all 1534 students (aged 13-19 years) in the city of Catanzaro, Italy. Results: The data was broken down into three main groups: (1) describing education and access to the Internet; (2) methods of use and social networking; and (3) perception and evaluation of risk and risky behaviors. Among noteworthy results in the first group, we can mention that the average age of first contact with information technologies was around 9 years. Moreover, 78.87% (1210/1534) of the interviewed students reported having access to a smartphone or a tablet. Among the results of the second group, we found that the most used social networks were Facebook (85.78%, 1316/1534), YouTube (61.14%, 938/1534), and Google+ (51.56%, 791/1534). About 71.31% (1094/1534) of the interviewed teenagers use their name and surname on social networks, and 40.09% (615/1534) of them knew all their Facebook contacts personally. Among the results of the third group, we found that 7.69% (118/1534) of the interviewed teenagers have uploaded pictures or movies of which they felt ashamed; 27.05% (415/1534) have received invitations from people they met on the Internet to meet in real life; and 8.67% (133/1534) have accepted such invitations. Conclusions: The results offer a breakdown of the teenagers’ use of the Internet, focusing on how teenagers learn to use and access it while taking into account factors such as parental coaching, schooling, or self-education. It describes how they approach and interact with social networks and how they perceive risks and risky behaviors on the Internet. Information technology must be seen as an instrument and not as a hindrance. For this to happen, parental guidance, schooling, and medical counseling are needed for a sound development of the child in this critical stage.

  • Help-Diabetes home page (montage). Source: e-Health Unit, UCL /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Promoting Engagement With a Digital Health Intervention (HeLP-Diabetes) Using Email and Text Message Prompts: Mixed-Methods Study


    Background: Engagement with digital health interventions (DHIs) may be regarded as a prerequisite for the intervention to achieve positive health or behavior change outcomes. One method employed to promote engagement is the use of prompts such as emails and text messages. However, little is known about the characteristics of prompts that promote engagement. This study explored the association between the content and delivery mode of prompts and the users’ engagement with HeLP-Diabetes (Healthy Living for People with type 2 Diabetes), a DHI that aimed to promote self-management in adults with type 2 diabetes. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the characteristics of prompts, specifically the content and delivery mode, which were associated with increased engagement. Methods: This was a mixed-methods study. Email and text message prompts were sent to the registered users of HeLP-Diabetes. Use of the intervention was recorded and examined to identify which email and text message prompts were associated with subsequent visits to the DHI. Characteristics of prompts that were identified as particularly effective or ineffective were explored through think-aloud interviews with the participants. Results: Of a total of 39 email prompts, 49% (19/39) prompts showed a significant association with subsequent visits to the DHI. However, none of the text message prompts were associated with subsequent visits to the DHI. Furthermore, think-aloud interviews were carried out with 6 experienced participants with type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest that these participants preferred email prompts that were clear, relatively short, and empowering; used nondirective advice; included health professional references; were visually appealing; and contained news and updates. Conclusions: The findings of this study contribute to the existing evidence supporting the role of email prompts in promoting and maintaining engagement with DHIs. This study described the content of prompts that may be engaging. However, the results should be interpreted with caution, as prompts may be context-specific interventions and the results may not be generalizable across other DHIs or other types of interventions targeting self-management of type 2 diabetes.

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  • Challenges facing clinical research

    Date Submitted: Dec 17, 2017

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 17, 2017 - Feb 11, 2018

    Background: Most countries thrive to build and expand national research. A number of challenges may hinder clinical researchers and potential researchers particularly in developing countries. We aim t...

    Background: Most countries thrive to build and expand national research. A number of challenges may hinder clinical researchers and potential researchers particularly in developing countries. We aim to study these challenges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Objective: We aim to study these challenges in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Methods: A questionnaire reflecting possible challenges was presented to the delegates and faculties of 5 cancer related educational scientific meetings in KSA. Results: One hundred and forty seven responders were practicing in KSA and are the subject of this report of whom 95 (64.6%) were physicians. While 122 (83%) are interested in conducting research, service commitments and inadequate time, process of research approval within one’s department and obtaining financial funding were the most frequent challenges reported by 86 (58.5%), 61 (41.5%) and 53 (36.1%) of responders. Conclusions: Major challenges may hinder clinical research development. The identified challenges need to be seriously addressed if advances in clinical research are to be expected.

  • Home to hospital live streaming with virtual reality goggles: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of hospitalized children.

    Date Submitted: Dec 5, 2017

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 5, 2017 - Jan 30, 2018

    Background: Being separated from home and relatives is a major stressor for children and adolescents when hospitalized. Children long for a manner to be distracted, pleasured and socially connected du...

    Background: Being separated from home and relatives is a major stressor for children and adolescents when hospitalized. Children long for a manner to be distracted, pleasured and socially connected during hospitalization. Different technological devices have been applied in healthcare to answer those needs. Both Virtual Reality (VR) and videoconferencing have proven their value at hospital wards and in pediatrics. VisitU® combines these two technologies in an innovative way. VisitU® is a recently launched VR technology enabling the user to be virtually at home during hospitalization. Objective: Our objective was to explore the experiences of hospitalized patients with the VR intervention of VisitU® in addition to standard care. Methods: Over a 3-month period a purposive sample of 10 patients hospitalized in the Radboudumc Amalia Children’s Hospital was included in this qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were performed, one before and one after the use of the VR device. Patients were asked open questions concerning the experiences with VisitU® on practical, cognitive, emotional and social domains. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Atlas.ti was used to support qualitative analysis. Inductive thematic analysis was done according to the six-step procedure described by Braun and Clarke. Results: Six main themes were the result of qualitative analysis; “Being hospitalized”, “Expectations of VisitU®”,“VisitU® in use”, “VisitU®, the benefits”, “The impact of VisitU®” and “Barriers when using VisitU®”. The way VisitU® was used by patients varied. The main benefits of VisitU® were being somewhere else, being at home and facilitating social connection. Limitations were experienced on the technical abilities, physical side effects and complexity of use. Despite that, patients were positive about VisitU® and the patients were unanimous in the view that they would like to use it again and advise other patients to use it. Conclusions: This study shows positive experiences of children and adolescents with VR live stream enabling the user to be virtually at home during hospitalization. VisitU® brings together the needs of patients and possibilities of VR and videoconferencing; it offers patients a virtual way out of the hospital. Practical and technical obstacles must be overcome and side effects are an area of further research.