JMIR Publications

Interactive Journal of Medical Research

A general medical journal, focusing on innovation in health and medical research

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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 2015: 4.532), 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:

  • Planking. Source: Pinterest; URL: https://www.pinterest.com/dailyfunpics/funny-planking-photos/; License: Fair use/fair dealings.

    Planking or the “Lying-Down Game:” Two Case Reports

    Abstract:

    Background: The monitoring and management of risks regarding children and young people admitted to the emergency department as a result of dangerous behaviors distributed via the Internet should be based on clinical reasoning and knowledge about these social media–related phenomena. Here we examine 2 cases of teenagers who reported severe injuries while performing the “planking” craze, a challenge that consists in lying face-down stiffly like a board on any kind of surface. Objective: Our objective is to examine and describe the Internet craze called planking, also known as the “lying-down game,“ through 2 case reports from our experience, enriching this study with information gained through discussions with secondary school teenagers. Methods: Details of the 2 case reports were taken from electronic medical records giving information on care support processes, care management, and the costs of traumatic episodes. Demographic data, hemoglobin and serum lactate values, and Injury Severity Scores were evaluated. The study took place in secondary schools of our city from 2013 to 2014 during medical education courses, with the aim of analyzing the influence of social media on teenagers' activities and behaviors. Results: Both patients suffered multiple trauma injuries and needed high-level health assistance. The first patient underwent a splenectomy and the second one a nephrectomy; both of them required a long hospital stay (14 and 20 days, respectively), and the costs for their management have been estimated at US $27,000 and US $37,000, respectively. Their decision to perform the planking in dangerous locations was due to their ambition to gain peers' acclaim through shared videos and pictures. Conclusions: Reporting and understanding these cases may potentially help prevent future events occurring in similar circumstances: the scientific community cannot leave this problem unaddressed. There is also a role of education resources for health care professionals; for this, we must identify and follow up strange or misleading information found on websites. A key element of this research study was to report physicians’ misperceptions concerning planking and, with these cases used for teaching purposes, improve knowledge of the clinical and forensic aspects of this emerging problem.

  • Source: Foter.com; Copyright: KimSanDiego; URL: http://foter.com/photo/2012-11-08-14-58-48/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Using eHealth Technologies: Interests, Preferences, and Concerns of Older Adults

    Abstract:

    Background: The Internet and eHealth technologies represent new opportunities for managing health. Age, sex, socioeconomic status, and current technology use are some of the known factors that influence individuals’ uptake of eHealth; however, relatively little is known about facilitators and barriers to eHealth uptake specific to older adults, particularly as they relate to their experiences in accessing health care. Objective: The aim of our study was to explore the interests, preferences, and concerns of older adults in using the Internet and eHealth technologies for managing their health in relation to their experiences with the current health care system. Methods: Two focus groups (n=15) were conducted with adults aged 50+ years. Pragmatic thematic analysis using an inductive approach was conducted to identify the interests, preferences, and concerns of using the Internet and eHealth technologies. Results: Five themes emerged that include (1) Difficulty in identifying credible and relevant sources of information on the Web; (2) Ownership, access, and responsibility for medical information; (3) Peer communication and support; (4) Opportunities to enhance health care interactions; and (5) Privacy concerns. These findings support the potential value older adults perceive in eHealth technologies, particularly in their ability to provide access to personal health information and facilitate communication between providers and peers living with similar conditions. However, in order to foster acceptance, these technologies will need to provide personal and general health information that is secure, readily accessible, and easily understood. Conclusions: Older adults have diverse needs and preferences that, in part, are driven by their experiences and frustrations with the health care system. Results can help inform the design and implementation of technologies to address gaps in care and access to health information for older adults with chronic conditions who may benefit the most from this approach.

  • Image source: iStock. License purchased by the author.

    Assessing the Performance of a Modified LACE Index (LACE-rt) to Predict Unplanned Readmission After Discharge in a Community Teaching Hospital

    Abstract:

    Background: The LACE index was designed to predict early death or unplanned readmission after discharge from hospital to the community. However, implementing the LACE tool in real time in a teaching hospital required practical unavoidable modifications. Objective: The purpose of this study was to validate the implementation of a modified LACE index (LACE-rt) and test its ability to predict readmission risk using data in a hospital setting. Methods: Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS), and the hospital electronic medical record for one large community hospital in Toronto, Canada, were used in this study. A total of 3855 admissions from September 2013 to July 2014 were analyzed (N=3855) using descriptive statistics, regression analysis, and receiver operating characteristic analysis. Prospectively collected data from DAD and NACRS were linked to inpatient data. Results: The LACE-rt index was a fair test to predict readmission risk (C statistic=.632). A LACE-rt score of 10 is a good threshold to differentiate between patients with low and high readmission risk; the high-risk patients are 2.648 times more likely to be readmitted than those at low risk. The introduction of LACE-rt had no significant impact on readmission reduction. Conclusions: The LACE-rt is a fair tool for identifying those at risk of readmission. A collaborative cross-sectoral effort that includes those in charge of providing community-based care is needed to reduce readmission rates. An eHealth solution could play a major role in streamlining this collaboration.

  • Patient education. Image taken by Jason Johnson at Southern Illinois University, Department of Public Affairs. Permission to use granted to JMIR Publications. Image source: http://siumed.zenfolio.com/p843676833/h5b162fac#h5b162fac.

    Evaluating YouTube as a Source of Patient Education on the Role of the Hospitalist: A Cross-Sectional Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Hospital medicine is a relatively new specialty field, dedicated to the delivery of comprehensive medical care to hospitalized patients. YouTube is one of the most frequently used websites, offering access to a gamut of videos from self-produced to professionally made. Objective: The aim of our study was to determine the adequacy of YouTube as an effective means to define and depict the role of hospitalists. Methods: YouTube was searched on November 17, 2014, using the following search words: “hospitalist,” “hospitalist definition,” “what is the role of a hospitalist,” “define hospitalist,” and “who is a hospitalist.” Videos found only in the first 10 pages of each search were included. Non-English, noneducational, and nonrelevant videos were excluded. A novel 7-point scoring tool was created by the authors based on the definition of a hospitalist adopted by the Society of Hospital Medicine. Three independent reviewers evaluated, scored, and classified the videos into high, intermediate, and low quality based on the average score. Results: A total of 102 videos out of 855 were identified as relevant and included in the analysis. Videos uploaded by academic institutions had the highest mean score. Only 6 videos were classified as high quality, 53 as intermediate quality, and 42 as low quality, with 82.4% (84/102) of the videos scoring an average of 4 or less. Conclusions: Most videos found in the search of a hospitalist definition are inadequate. Leading medical organizations and academic institutions should consider producing and uploading quality videos to YouTube to help patients and their families better understand the roles and definition of the hospitalist.

  • Online Health Information. Image sourced and copyright owned by authors.

    Online Health Information Regarding Male Infertility: An Evaluation of Readability, Suitability, and Quality

    Abstract:

    Background: Many men lack knowledge about male infertility, and this may have consequences for their reproductive and general health. Men may prefer to seek health information online, but these sources of information vary in quality. Objective: The objective of this study is to determine if online sources of information regarding male infertility are readable, suitable, and of appropriate quality for Internet users in the general population. Methods: This study used a cross-sectional design to evaluate online sources resulting from search engine queries. The following categories of websites were considered: (1) Canadian fertility clinics, (2) North American organizations related to fertility, and (3) the first 20 results of Google searches using the terms “male infertility” and “male fertility preservation” set to the search locations worldwide, English Canada, and French Canada. Websites that met inclusion criteria (N=85) were assessed using readability indices, the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM), and the DISCERN tool. The associations between website affiliation (government, university/medical, non-profit organization, commercial/corporate, private practice) and Google placement to readability, suitability, and quality were also examined. Results: None of the sampled websites met recommended levels of readability. Across all websites, the mean SAM score for suitability was 45.37% (SD 11.21), or “adequate”, while the DISCERN mean score for quality was 43.19 (SD 10.46) or “fair”. Websites that placed higher in Google obtained a higher overall score for quality with an r (58) value of -.328 and a P value of .012, but this position was not related to readability or suitability. In addition, 20% of fertility clinic websites did not include fertility information for men. Conclusions: There is a lack of high quality online sources of information on male fertility. Many websites target their information to women, or fail to meet established readability criteria for the general population. Since men may prefer to seek health information online, it is important that health care professionals develop high quality sources of information on male fertility for the general population.

  • Source: https://pixabay.com/en/sushi-lunch-table-food-eat-cook-1186825; CC0 Public Domain.

    Japanese Consumer Perceptions of Genetically Modified Food: Findings From an International Comparative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Reports of food-related incidents, such as cows infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (2001) and the Fukushima nuclear accident (2011), engendered significant fear among Japanese consumers and led to multiple farmer suicides, even when no actual health damage occurred. The growing availability of genetically modified (GM) food is occurring against this backdrop of concern about food safety. Consumers need information to assess risk and make informed purchasing decisions. However, we lack a clear picture of Japanese consumer perceptions of GM food. Objective: This study aims to understand Japanese consumer perceptions of GM food for risk communication. Consumer perceptions of GM food were compared among 4 nations. Methods: A Web-based survey was conducted in Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Participants were asked about demographics, fear of health hazards, resistance to GM and breeding-improved products, perception of GM technology and products, and willingness to pay. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted, as were t tests on dichotomous variables, and 1-way analysis of variance and post hoc tests. Results: Of 1812 individuals who agreed to participate, 1705 (94%) responded: 457 from Japan and 416 each from France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The male/female and age group ratios were all about even. Some resistance to GM food was seen in all countries in this study. France showed the strongest resistance (P<.001), followed by Japan, which had stronger resistance than the United States and the United Kingdom (P<.001). Overall, females, people in their 60s and older, and those without higher education showed the greatest resistance to GM food. Japan showed stronger fear of food hazards than other nations (P<.001, odds ratio=2.408, CI: 1.614-3.594); Japanese and French respondents showed the strongest fear of hazards from GM food (P<.001). Regarding perceptions of GM technology and products, consumers in nations other than Japan would accept GM food if it were appropriately explained, they were provided with scientific data supporting its safety, and they understood that all food carries some risk. However, Japanese consumers tended to accept GM technology but rejected its application to food (P<.001). Of those willing to purchase GM food, consumers in Japan required a discount of 30% compared with about 20% in other nations. Conclusion: All consumers in our study showed resistance to GM food. Although no health hazards are known, respondents in Japan and France strongly recognized GM food as a health risk. Price discounts of 30% and GM technology may be communication cues to start discussions about GM food among Japanese consumers. Although education-only risk communication generally is not effective, such an approach may work in Japan to help consumers better understand GM technology and, eventually, GM food. The gap between accepting GM technology and rejecting its application to food should be explored further.

  • Screenshot of ZIPSE (Information Portal about Rare Diseases). Source: https://www.portal-se.de/ZIPSE/. Copyright held by authors.

    Adopting Quality Criteria for Websites Providing Medical Information About Rare Diseases

    Abstract:

    Background: The European Union considers diseases to be rare when they affect less than 5 in 10,000 people. It is estimated that there are between 5000 and 8000 different rare diseases. Consistent with this diversity, the quality of information available on the Web varies considerably. Thus, quality criteria for websites about rare diseases are needed. Objective: The objective of this study was to generate a catalog of quality criteria suitable for rare diseases. Methods: First, relevant certificates and quality recommendations for health information websites were identified through a comprehensive Web search. Second, all considered quality criteria of each certification program and catalog were examined, extracted into an overview table, and analyzed by thematic content. Finally, an interdisciplinary expert group verified the relevant quality criteria. Results: We identified 9 quality certificates and criteria catalogs for health information websites with 304 single criteria items. Through this, we aggregated 163 various quality criteria, each assigned to one of the following categories: thematic, technical, service, content, and legal. Finally, a consensus about 13 quality criteria for websites offering medical information on rare diseases was determined. Of these categories, 4 (data protection concept, imprint, creation and updating date, and possibility to contact the website provider) were identified as being the most important for publishing medical information about rare diseases. Conclusions: The large number of different quality criteria appearing within a relatively small number of criteria catalogs shows that the opinion of what is important in the quality of health information differs. In addition, to define useful quality criteria for websites about rare diseases, which are an essential source of information for many patients, a trade-off is necessary between the high standard of quality criteria for health information websites in general and the limited provision of information about some rare diseases. Finally, transparently presented quality assessments can help people to find reliable information and to assess its quality.

  • Source: https://stock.adobe.com/ca/search?k=56944231&color=, Licence to use held by Macquarie University.

    Evaluation of Web-Based Consumer Medication Information: Content and Usability of 4 Australian Websites

    Abstract:

    Background: Medication is the most common intervention in health care, and written medication information can affect consumers’ medication-related behavior. Research has shown that a large proportion of Australians search for medication information on the Internet. Objective: To evaluate the medication information content, based on consumer medication information needs, and usability of 4 Australian health websites: Better Health Channel, myDr, healthdirect, and NPS MedicineWise . Methods: To assess website content, the most common consumer medication information needs were identified using (1) medication queries to the healthdirect helpline (a telephone helpline available across most of Australia) and (2) the most frequently used medications in Australia. The most frequently used medications were extracted from Australian government statistics on use of subsidized medicines in the community and the National Census of Medicines Use. Each website was assessed to determine whether it covered or partially covered information and advice about these medications. To assess website usability, 16 consumers participated in user testing wherein they were required to locate 2 pieces of medication information on each website. Brief semistructured interviews were also conducted with participants to gauge their opinions of the websites. Results: Information on prescription medication was more comprehensively covered on all websites (3 of 4 websites covered 100% of information) than nonprescription medication (websites covered 0%-67% of information). Most websites relied on consumer medicines information leaflets to convey prescription medication information to consumers. Information about prescription medication classes was less comprehensive, with no website providing all information examined about antibiotics and antidepressants. Participants (n=16) were able to locate medication information on websites in most cases (accuracy ranged from 84% to 91%). However, a number of usability issues relating to website navigation and information display were identified. For example, websites not allowing combinations of search terms to be entered in search boxes and continuous blocks of text without subheadings. Conclusions: Of the 4 Australian health information websites tested, none provided consumers with comprehensive medication information on both prescription and nonprescription medications in a user-friendly way. Using data on consumer information needs and user testing to guide medication information content and website design is a useful approach to inform consumer website development.

  • Tacuina sanitatis (XIV century). Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:42-aspetti_di_vita_quotidiana,_medicine,Taccuino_Sanitatis,.jpg; Public Domain.

    Internet Use for Searching Information on Medicines and Disease: A Community Pharmacy–Based Survey Among Adult Pharmacy Customers

    Abstract:

    Background: The Internet is increasingly used as a source of health-related information, and a vast majority of Internet users are performing health-related searches in the United States and Europe, with wide differences among countries. Health information searching behavior on the Internet is affected by multiple factors, including demographics, socioeconomic factors, education, employment, attitudes toward the Internet, and health conditions, and their knowledge may help to promote a safer use of the Internet. Limited information however exists so far about Internet use to search for medical information in Italy. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the use of the Internet for searching for information on medicines and disease in adult subjects in Northern Italy. Methods: Survey in randomly selected community pharmacies, using a self-administered questionnaire, with open and multiple choices questions, was conducted. Results: A total of 1008 participants were enrolled (59.5% women; median age: 43 years; range: 14-88 years). Previous use of the Internet to search for information about medicines or dietary supplements was reported by 26.0% of respondents, more commonly by women (30.00% vs 20.10% men, P<.001), unmarried subjects (32.9% vs 17.4% widowed subjects, P=.022), and employed people (29.1% vs 10.4% retired people, P=.002). Use was highest in the age range of 26 to 35 (40.0% users vs 19.6% and 12.3% in the age range ≤25 and ≥56, respectively, P<.001) and increased with years of education (from 5.3% with 5 years, up to 41.0% with a university degree, P<.001). Previous use of the Internet to search for information about disease was reported by 59.1% of respondents, more commonly by women (64.5% vs 51.0% males, P<.001), unmarried subjects (64.2% vs 58.5% married or divorced subjects and 30.4% widowed subjects, P=.012), unemployed people (66.7% vs 64.0% workers and 29.9% retired people, P<.001). Use was highest in the age range of 26 to 35 (70.1% vs 64.4% in both 36-45 and 46-55 ranges and 35.1% in ≥56, P<.001) and increased with years of education (from 12.5% with 5 years up to 66.7% with 13 years and 68.6% with a university degree, P<.001). Retrieved information was rated as satisfactory by about 87.5% (88.1% women and 86.2% men, P=.562). Recent use of medicines or dietary supplements was associated with more frequent use of the Internet to search for disease and drugs. Conclusions: The study provides detailed information on the use of the Internet for searching for information on medicines and disease in the Italian population. Gender, age, social status and level of education, and the previous use of medicines, affect searching behaviors and use patterns. Results can support educational interventions to promote the retrieval of high-quality information by Internet users and health professionals advising patients about appropriate use of Internet for health-related purposes.

  • Image Source: Jean's Bionic Knee, copyright Dave Haygarth,
https://www.flickr.com/photos/minnellium/2288646271/,
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution cc-by 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

    Relationship of Buckling and Knee Injury to Pain Exacerbation in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Web-Based Case-Crossover Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most frequent causes of limited mobility and diminished quality of life. Pain is the main symptom that drives individuals with knee OA to seek medical care and a recognized antecedent to disability and eventually joint replacement. Evidence shows that patients with symptomatic OA experience fluctuations in pain severity. Mechanical insults to the knee such as injury and buckling may contribute to pain exacerbation. Objective: Our objective was to examine whether knee injury and buckling (giving way) are triggers for exacerbation of pain in persons with symptomatic knee OA. Methods: We conducted a case-crossover study, a novel methodology in which participants with symptomatic radiographic knee OA who have had knee pain exacerbations were used as their own control (self-matched design), with all data collected via the Internet. Participants were asked to log-on to the study website and complete an online questionnaire at baseline and then at regular 10-day intervals for 3 months (control periods)—a total of 10 questionnaires. They were also instructed to go to the website and complete pain exacerbation questionnaires when they experienced an isolated incident of knee pain exacerbation (case periods). A pain exacerbation “case” period was defined as an increase of ≥2 compared to baseline. At each contact the pain exacerbation was designated a case period, and at all other regular 10-day contacts (control periods) participants were asked about knee injuries during the previous 7 days and knee buckling during the previous 2 days. The relationship of knee injury and buckling to the risk of pain exacerbation was examined using conditional logistic regression models. Results: The analysis included 157 participants (66% women, mean age: 62 years, mean BMI: 29.5 kg/m2). Sustaining a knee injury was associated with experiencing a pain exacerbation (odds ratio [OR] 10.2, 95% CI 5.4, 19.3) compared with no injury. Knee buckling was associated with experiencing a pain exacerbation (OR 4.0, 95% CI 2.6, 6.2) compared with no buckling and the association increased with a greater number of buckling events (for ≥ 6 buckling events, OR 20.1, 95% CI 3.7, 110). Conclusions: Knee injury and buckling are associated with knee pain exacerbation. Reducing the likelihood of these mechanical events through avoidance of particular activities and/or appropriate rehabilitation programs may decrease the risk of pain exacerbation.

  • Source: http://tinyurl.com/jndwrnq; CC0 Public Domain.

    Relationship Between Difficulties in Daily Activities and Falling: Loco-Check as a Self-Assessment of Fall Risk

    Abstract:

    Background: People aged 65 years or older accounted for 25.1% of the Japanese population in 2013, and this characterizes the country as a “super-aging society.” With increased aging, fall-related injuries are becoming important in Japan, because such injuries underlie the necessity for nursing care services. If people could evaluate their risk of falling using a simple self-check test, they would be able to take preventive measures such as exercise, muscle training, walking with a cane, or renovation of their surroundings to remove impediments. Loco-check is a checklist measure of early locomotive syndrome (circumstances in which elderly people need nursing care service or are at high risk of requiring the service within a short time), prepared by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) in 2007, but it is unclear if there is any association between this measure and falls. Objective: To investigate the association between falls during the previous year and the 7 “loco-check” daily activity items and the total number of items endorsed, and sleep duration. Methods: We conducted an Internet panel survey. Subjects were 624 persons aged between 30 and 90 years. The general health condition of the participants, including their experience of falling, daily activities, and sleep duration, was investigated. A multivariate analysis was carried out using logistic regression to investigate the relationship between falls in the previous year and difficulties with specific daily activities and total number of difficulties (loco-check) endorsed, and sleep duration, adjusting for sex and age. Results: One-fourth of participants (157 persons) experienced at least one fall during the previous year. Fall rate of females (94/312: 30.1%) was significantly higher than that of males (63/312: 20.2%). Fall rate of persons aged more than 65 years (80/242: 33.1%) was significantly higher than that of younger persons (77/382: 20.2%). Logistic regression analysis revealed that daily activities such as “impossibility of getting across the road at a crossing before the traffic light changes” are significantly related to falling. Logistic regression analysis also demonstrated a relationship between the number of items endorsed on loco-check and incidence of falling, wherein persons who endorsed 4 or more items appear to be at higher risk for falls. However, logistic regression found no significant relationship between sleep duration and falling. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated a relationship between the number of loco-check items endorsed and the incidence of falling in the previous year. Endorsement of 4 or more items appeared to signal a high risk for falls. The short self-administered checklist can be a valuable tool for assessing the risk of falling and for initiating preventive measures.

  • Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/naudinsylvain/4921722708; CC-BY-2.0; Attribution: Sylvain Naudin.

    Quality of Web-based Information for the 10 Most Common Fractures

    Abstract:

    Background: In today's technologically advanced world, 75% of patients have used Google to search for health information. As a result, health care professionals fear that patients may be misinformed. Currently, there is a paucity of data on the quality and readability of Web-based health information on fractures. Objectives: In this study, we assessed the quality and readability of Web-based health information related to the 10 most common fractures. Methods: Using the Google search engine, we assessed websites from the first results page for the 10 most common fractures using lay search terms. Website quality was measured using the DISCERN instrument, which scores websites as very poor (15-22.5), poor (22.5-37.5), fair (37.5-52.5), good (52.5-67.5), or excellent (67.5-75). The presence of Health on the Net code (HONcode) certification was assessed for all websites. Website readability was measured using the Flesch Reading Ease Score (0-100), where 60-69 is ideal for the general public, and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL; −3.4 to ∞), where the mean FKGL of the US adult population is 8. Results: Overall, website quality was “fair” for all fractures, with a mean (standard deviation) DISCERN score of 50.3 (5.8). The DISCERN score correlated positively with a higher website position on the search results page (r2=0.1, P=.002) and with HONcode certification (P=.007). The mean (standard deviation) Flesch Reading Ease Score and FKGL for all fractures were 62.2 (9.1) and 6.7 (1.6), respectively. Conclusion: The quality of Web-based health information on fracture care is fair, and its readability is appropriate for the general public. To obtain higher quality information, patients should select HONcode-certified websites. Furthermore, patients should select websites that are positioned higher on the results page because the Google ranking algorithms appear to rank the websites by quality.

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  • Short-term efficacy of an innovative smartphone technology-based intervention for weight management for overweight and obese adolescents: A pilot study

    Date Submitted: Apr 12, 2017

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 13, 2017 - Jun 8, 2017

    Background: In the United States, about one third of adolescents are now overweight or obese, and 1 in 6 are obese. This financial cost and the larger non-financial costs of obesity make obesity preve...

    Background: In the United States, about one third of adolescents are now overweight or obese, and 1 in 6 are obese. This financial cost and the larger non-financial costs of obesity make obesity prevention and management for adolescents imperative for the health of the nation. However, primary care visits are typically brief, and primary care providers may lack adequate resources to help overweight or obese adolescents to manage weight issues. To augment the efficacy of primary care visits for adolescent weight management, smart-phone technology can be used as adjunct treatment that provides additional opportunities for encouraging improvement in lifestyle, attainment and maintenance of healthy weigh. Objective: The purposes of this study were to (1) measure effects of an innovative smartphone-technology-based (STB) intervention for overweight and obese adolescents and to (2) examine the intervention’s feasibility for use in primary care clinics. Methods: The STB intervention had 3 components: use of Fitbit Flex, participation in the online educational program, and receipt of bi-weekly text message during the maintenance phase. A randomized control study design was utilized. Data regard to anthropometrics (BMI and waist-hip ratio), blood pressure, levels of physical and sedentary activity, diet, and self-efficacy regarding physical activity and diet were collected at baseline, 3 month and 6 months after the baseline assessment. Results: A total of 40 adolescents participated in the study. At the 6-month follow-up visit, compared to participants in the control group, STB intervention participants had significant improvement of BMI (z = -4.37, P = .001), diastolic blood pressure (z = -3.23, P = .001), physical activity day per week (z = 2.58, P =.01), TV and computer time (z = -3.34, P = .001), servings of fruit and vegetables per day (z = 2.74, P = .006), soda and sweetened drink (z = -3.19, P = .001), physical activity self-efficacy (z = 2.75, P = .006), and dietary self-efficacy (F = 5.05, P = .001). Medium to large effect sizes were found in these outcome variables. Conclusions: The use of mobile technologies may offer a practical, reliable adjunct to weight management for overweight and obese adolescents in busy primary care clinics serving adolescents. Clinical Trial: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT 01693250 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01693250?term=Adolescent+obesity+AND+mhealth&rank=5

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