JMIR Publications

Journal of Medical Internet Research

The leading peer-reviewed journal for health and healthcare in the Internet age.

JMIR's Thomson Reuter Impact Factor of 4.5 for 2015

Recent Articles:

  • Is it all about media literacy? Image sourced and copyright owned by author Dr Yen-Yuan Chen and Mr Min-Lun Hung.

    The Association Between Internet Use and Ambulatory Care-Seeking Behaviors in Taiwan: A Cross-Sectional Study


    Background: Compared with the traditional ways of gaining health-related information from newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, the Internet is inexpensive, accessible, and conveys diverse opinions. Several studies on how increasing Internet use affected outpatient clinic visits were inconclusive. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the role of Internet use on ambulatory care-seeking behaviors as indicated by the number of outpatient clinic visits after adjusting for confounding variables. Methods: We conducted this study using a sample randomly selected from the general population in Taiwan. To handle the missing data, we built a multivariate logistic regression model for propensity score matching using age and sex as the independent variables. The questionnaires with no missing data were then included in a multivariate linear regression model for examining the association between Internet use and outpatient clinic visits. Results: We included a sample of 293 participants who answered the questionnaire with no missing data in the multivariate linear regression model. We found that Internet use was significantly associated with more outpatient clinic visits (P=.04). The participants with chronic diseases tended to make more outpatient clinic visits (P<.01). Conclusions: The inconsistent quality of health-related information obtained from the Internet may be associated with patients’ increasing need for interpreting and discussing the information with health care professionals, thus resulting in an increasing number of outpatient clinic visits. In addition, the media literacy of Web-based health-related information seekers may also affect their ambulatory care-seeking behaviors, such as outpatient clinic visits.

  • Image Source: (fair use).

    Influence of Pokémon Go on Physical Activity: Study and Implications


    Background: Physical activity helps people maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk for several chronic diseases. Although this knowledge is widely recognized, adults and children in many countries around the world do not get recommended amounts of physical activity. Although many interventions are found to be ineffective at increasing physical activity or reaching inactive populations, there have been anecdotal reports of increased physical activity due to novel mobile games that embed game play in the physical world. The most recent and salient example of such a game is Pokémon Go, which has reportedly reached tens of millions of users in the United States and worldwide. Objective: The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of Pokémon Go on physical activity. Methods: We study the effect of Pokémon Go on physical activity through a combination of signals from large-scale corpora of wearable sensor data and search engine logs for 32,000 Microsoft Band users over a period of 3 months. Pokémon Go players are identified through search engine queries and physical activity is measured through accelerometers. Results: We find that Pokémon Go leads to significant increases in physical activity over a period of 30 days, with particularly engaged users (ie, those making multiple search queries for details about game usage) increasing their activity by 1473 steps a day on average, a more than 25% increase compared with their prior activity level (P<.001). In the short time span of the study, we estimate that Pokémon Go has added a total of 144 billion steps to US physical activity. Furthermore, Pokémon Go has been able to increase physical activity across men and women of all ages, weight status, and prior activity levels showing this form of game leads to increases in physical activity with significant implications for public health. In particular, we find that Pokémon Go is able to reach low activity populations, whereas all 4 leading mobile health apps studied in this work largely draw from an already very active population. Conclusions: Mobile apps combining game play with physical activity lead to substantial short-term activity increases and, in contrast to many existing interventions and mobile health apps, have the potential to reach activity-poor populations. Future studies are needed to investigate potential long-term effects of these applications.

  • HPV Vaccine. Image source: Author: Art Writ. Copyright:

    Applying Multiple Data Collection Tools to Quantify Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Communication on Twitter


    Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. There are several vaccines that protect against strains of HPV most associated with cervical and other cancers. Thus, HPV vaccination has become an important component of adolescent preventive health care. As media evolves, more information about HPV vaccination is shifting to social media platforms such as Twitter. Health information consumed on social media may be especially influential for segments of society such as younger populations, as well as ethnic and racial minorities. Objective: The objectives of our study were to quantify HPV vaccine communication on Twitter, and to develop a novel methodology to improve the collection and analysis of Twitter data. Methods: We collected Twitter data using 10 keywords related to HPV vaccination from August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015. Prospective data collection used the Twitter Search API and retrospective data collection used Twitter Firehose. Using a codebook to characterize tweet sentiment and content, we coded a subsample of tweets by hand to develop classification models to code the entire sample using machine learning procedures. We also documented the words in the 140-character tweet text most associated with each keyword. We used chi-square tests, analysis of variance, and nonparametric equality of medians to test for significant differences in tweet characteristic by sentiment. Results: A total of 193,379 English-language tweets were collected, classified, and analyzed. Associated words varied with each keyword, with more positive and preventive words associated with “HPV vaccine” and more negative words associated with name-brand vaccines. Positive sentiment was the largest type of sentiment in the sample, with 75,393 positive tweets (38.99% of the sample), followed by negative sentiment with 48,940 tweets (25.31% of the sample). Positive and neutral tweets constituted the largest percentage of tweets mentioning prevention or protection (20,425/75,393, 27.09% and 6477/25,110, 25.79%, respectively), compared with only 11.5% of negative tweets (5647/48,940; P<.001). Nearly one-half (22,726/48,940, 46.44%) of negative tweets mentioned side effects, compared with only 17.14% (12,921/75,393) of positive tweets and 15.08% of neutral tweets (3787/25,110; P<.001). Conclusions: Examining social media to detect health trends, as well as to communicate important health information, is a growing area of research in public health. Understanding the content and implications of conversations that form around HPV vaccination on social media can aid health organizations and health-focused Twitter users in creating a meaningful exchange of ideas and in having a significant impact on vaccine uptake. This area of research is inherently interdisciplinary, and this study supports this movement by applying public health, health communication, and data science approaches to extend methodologies across fields.

  • eHealth_Project_IPD. Image sourced and copyright owned by authors.

    An eHealth Project on Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: Comprehensive Evaluation of a Promotional Campaign


    Background: The recently launched Pneumo Rischio eHealth project, which consists of an app, a website, and social networking activity, is aimed at increasing public awareness of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). The launch of this project was prompted by the inadequate awareness of IPD among both laypeople and health care workers, the heavy socioeconomic burden of IPD, and the far from optimal vaccination coverage in Italy, despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines. Objective: The objectives of our study were to analyze trends in Pneumo Rischio usage before and after a promotional campaign, to characterize its end users, and to assess its user-rated quality. Methods: At 7 months after launching Pneumo Rischio, we established a 4-month marketing campaign to promote the project. This intervention used various approaches and channels, including both traditional and digital marketing strategies. To highlight usage trends, we used different techniques of time series analysis and modeling, including a modified Mann-Kendall test, change-point detection, and segmented negative binomial regression of interrupted time series. Users were characterized in terms of demographics and IPD risk categories. Customer-rated quality was evaluated by means of a standardized tool in a sample of app users. Results: Over 1 year, the app was accessed by 9295 users and the website was accessed by 143,993 users, while the project’s Facebook page had 1216 fans. The promotional intervention was highly effective in increasing the daily number of users. In particular, the Mann-Kendall trend test revealed a significant (P ≤.01) increasing trend in both app and website users, while change-point detection analysis showed that the first significant change corresponded to the start of the promotional campaign. Regression analysis showed a significant immediate effect of the intervention, with a mean increase in daily numbers of users of 1562% (95% CI 456%-4870%) for the app and 620% (95% CI 176%-1777%) for the website. Similarly, the postintervention daily trend in the number of users was positive, with a relative increase of 0.9% (95% CI 0.0%-1.8%) for the app and 1.4% (95% CI 0.7%-2.1%) for the website. Demographics differed between app and website users and Facebook fans. A total of 69.15% (10,793/15,608) of users could be defined as being at risk of IPD, while 4729 users expressed intentions to ask their doctor for further information on IPD. The mean app quality score assigned by end users was approximately 79.5% (397/500). Conclusions: Despite its specific topic, Pneumo Rischio was accessed by a considerable number of users, who ranked it as a high-quality project. In order to reach their target populations, however, such projects should be promoted.

  • Tele-EMS-physician center. Image sourced and copyright owned by author Frederik Hirsch.

    Treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome by Telemedically Supported Paramedics Compared With Physician-Based Treatment: A Prospective, Interventional,...


    Background: Prehospital treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in German emergency medical services (EMSs) is reserved for EMS physicians due to legal issues. Objective: The objective of this prospective, interventional, multicenter trial was to evaluate the quality of telemedically-delegated therapy and the possible complications in patients with ACS. Methods: After approval by the ethics committee and trial registration, a one-year study phase was started in August 2012 with 5 ambulances, telemedically equipped and staffed with paramedics, in 4 German EMS districts. The paramedics could contact an EMS-physician–staffed telemedicine center. After initiation of an audio connection, real-time data transmission was automatically established. If required, 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) and still pictures could be sent. Video was streamed from inside each ambulance. All drugs, including opioids, were delegated to the paramedics based on standardized, predefined algorithms. To compare telemedically-delegated medication and treatment in ACS cases with regular EMS missions, a matched pair analysis with historical controls was performed. Results: Teleconsultation was performed on 150 patients having a cardiovascular emergency. In 39 cases, teleconsultation was started due to suspected ACS. No case had a medical complication. Correct handling of 12-lead ECG was performed equally between the groups (study group, n=38 vs control group, n=39, P>.99). There were no differences in correct handling of intravenous administration of acetylsalicylic acid, heparin, or morphine between both the groups (study group vs control group): acetylsalicylic acid, n=31 vs n=33, P=.73; unfractionated heparin, n=34 vs n=33, P>.99; morphine, n=29 vs n=27, P=.50. The correct handling of oxygen administration was significantly higher in the study group (n=29 vs n=18, P=.007). Conclusions: Telemedical delegation of guideline conform medication and therapy by paramedics in patients with ACS and was found to be feasible and safe. The quality of guideline-adherent therapy was not significantly different in both the groups except for the correct administration of oxygen, which was significantly higher in the study group. Trial Registration: NCT01644006; (Archived by WebCite at

  • Asthma inhaler use. Image Source: Author: United States National Institute of Health: Heart, Llung and Blood Institute. Copyright: Public Domain.

    The Effectiveness of Web-Based Asthma Self-Management System, My Asthma Portal (MAP): A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial


    Background: Whether Web-based technologies can improve disease self-management is uncertain. My Asthma Portal (MAP) is a Web-based self-management support system that couples evidence-based behavioral change components (self-monitoring of symptoms, physical activity, and medication adherence) with real-time monitoring, feedback, and support from a nurse case manager. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the impact of access to a Web-based asthma self-management patient portal linked to a case-management system (MAP) over 6 months compared with usual care on asthma control and quality of life. Methods: A multicenter, parallel, 2-arm, pilot, randomized controlled trial was conducted with 100 adults with confirmed diagnosis of asthma from 2 specialty clinics. Asthma control was measured using an algorithm based on overuse of fast-acting bronchodilators and emergency department visits, and asthma-related quality of life was assessed using the Mini-Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (MAQLQ). Secondary mediating outcomes included asthma symptoms, depressive symptoms, self-efficacy, and beliefs about medication. Process evaluations were also included. Results: A total of 49 individuals were randomized to MAP and 51 to usual care. Compared with usual care, participants in the intervention group reported significantly higher asthma quality of life (mean change 0.61, 95% CI 0.03 to 1.19), and the change in asthma quality of life for the intervention group between baseline and 3 months (mean change 0.66, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.98) was not seen in the control group. No significant differences in asthma quality of life were found between the intervention and control groups at 6 (mean change 0.46, 95% CI –0.12 to 1.05) and 9 months (mean change 0.39, 95% CI –0.2 to 0.98). For poor control status, there was no significant effect of group, time, or group by time. For all self-reported measures, the intervention group had a significantly higher proportion of individuals, demonstrating a minimal clinically meaningful improvement compared with the usual care group. Conclusions: This study supported the use of MAP to enhance asthma quality of life but not asthma control as measured by an administrative database. Implementation of MAP beyond 6 months with tailored protocols for monitoring symptoms and health behaviors as individuals’ knowledge and self-management skills improve may result in long-term gains in asthma control. ClinicalTrial: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 34326236; (Archived by Webcite at

  • Crossroads For Ideas. Image sourced and copyright owned by authors.

    Patients’ Need for Tailored Comparative Health Care Information: A Qualitative Study on Choosing a Hospital


    Background: The Internet is increasingly being used to provide patients with information about the quality of care of different health care providers. Although online comparative health care information is widely available internationally, and patients have been shown to be interested in this information, its effect on patients’ decision making is still limited. Objective: This study aimed to explore patients’ preferences regarding information presentation and their values concerning tailored comparative health care information. Meeting patients’ information presentation needs might increase the perceived relevance and use of the information. Methods: A total of 38 people participated in 4 focus groups. Comparative health care information about hip and knee replacement surgery was used as a case example. One part of the interview focused on patients’ information presentation preferences, whereas the other part focused on patients’ values of tailored information (ie, showing reviews of patients with comparable demographics). The qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Results: The following themes were deduced from the transcripts: number of health care providers to be presented, order in which providers are presented, relevancy of tailoring patient reviews, and concerns about tailoring. Participants’ preferences differed concerning how many and in which order health care providers must be presented. Most participants had no interest in patient reviews that were shown for specific subgroups based on age, gender, or ethnicity. Concerns of tailoring were related to the representativeness of results and the complexity of information. A need for information about the medical specialist when choosing a hospital was stressed by several participants. Conclusions: The preferences for how comparative health care information should be presented differ between people. “Information on demand” and information about the medical specialist might be promising ways to increase the relevancy and use of online comparative health care information. Future research should focus on how different groups of people use comparative health care information for different health care choices in real life.

  • Glucometer. Image Source: Author:Tuned_In; Stock photo ID:483874008. Image purchased by authors.

    Impact of Information Technology–Based Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus on Glycemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


    Background: Information technology–based interventions are increasingly being used to manage health care. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding whether these interventions improve outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes. Objective: The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials, assessing the impact of information technology on changes in the levels of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and mapping the interventions with chronic care model (CCM) elements. Methods: Electronic databases PubMed and EMBASE were searched to identify relevant studies that were published up until July 2016, a method that was supplemented by identifying articles from the references of the articles already selected using the electronic search tools. The study search and selection were performed by independent reviewers. Of the 1082 articles retrieved, 32 trials (focusing on a total of 40,454 patients) were included. A random-effects model was applied to estimate the pooled results. Results: Information technology–based interventions were associated with a statistically significant reduction in HbA1c levels (mean difference −0.33%, 95% CI −0.40 to −0.26, P<.001). Studies focusing on electronic self-management systems demonstrated the largest reduction in HbA1c (0.50%), followed by those with electronic medical records (0.17%), an electronic decision support system (0.15%), and a diabetes registry (0.05%). In addition, the more CCM-incorporated the information technology–based interventions were, the more improvements there were in HbA1c levels. Conclusions: Information technology strategies combined with the other elements of chronic care models are associated with improved glycemic control in people with diabetes. No clinically relevant impact was observed on low-density lipoprotein levels and blood pressure, but there was evidence that the cost of care was lower.

  • Multidimensional telemonitoring at patient's home. Image sourced and copyright owned by authors.

    Clinical Relevance of the First Domomedicine Platform Securing Multidrug Chronotherapy Delivery in Metastatic Cancer Patients at Home: The inCASA European...


    Background: Telehealth solutions can improve the safety of ambulatory chemotherapy, contributing to the maintenance of patients at their home, hence improving their well-being, all the while reducing health care costs. There is, however, need for a practicable multilevel monitoring solution, encompassing relevant outputs involved in the pathophysiology of chemotherapy-induced toxicity. Domomedicine embraces the delivery of complex care and medical procedures at the patient’s home based on modern technologies, and thus it offers an integrated approach for increasing the safety of cancer patients on chemotherapy. Objective: The objective was to evaluate patient compliance and clinical relevance of a novel integrated multiparametric telemonitoring domomedicine platform in cancer patients receiving multidrug chemotherapy at home. Methods: Self-measured body weight, self-rated symptoms using the 19-item MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI), and circadian rest-activity rhythm recording with a wrist accelerometer (actigraph) were transmitted daily by patients to a server via the Internet, using a dedicated platform installed at home. Daily body weight changes, individual MDASI scores, and relative percentage of activity in-bed versus out-of-bed (I

  • Patients App Word Cloud. Image sourced and copyright owned by authors.

    Mobile Apps in Oncology: A Survey on Health Care Professionals’ Attitude Toward Telemedicine, mHealth, and Oncological Apps


    Background: Mobile apps are an evolving trend in the medical field. To date, few apps in an oncological context exist. Objective: The aim was to analyze the attitude of health care professionals (HCPs) toward telemedicine, mHealth, and mobile apps in the field of oncology. Methods: We developed and conducted an online survey with 24 questions evaluating HCPs’ general attitude toward telemedicine and patients using medical mobile apps. Specific questions on the possible functionality for patients and the resulting advantages and disadvantages for both the patients’ and HCPs’ daily clinical routine were evaluated. Results: A total of 108 HCPs completed the survey. In all, 88.9% (96/108) considered telemedicine useful and 84.3% (91/108) supported the idea of an oncological app complementing classical treatment. Automatic reminders, timetables, and assessment of side effects and quality of life during therapy were rated as the most important functions. In contrast, uncertainty regarding medical responsibility and data privacy were reasons mostly named by critics. Most (64.8%, 70/108) were in favor of an alert function due to data input needing further clarification, and 94% (66/70) were willing to contact the patient after a critical alert. In all, 93.5% (101/108) supported the idea of using the collected data for scientific research. Moreover, 75.0% (81/108) believed establishing a mobile app could be beneficial for the providing hospital. Conclusions: A majority of HCPs are in favor of telemedicine and the use of oncological apps by patients. Assessing side effects can lead to quicker response and thus lower inconvenience for patients. Clinical data, such as life quality and treatment satisfaction, could be used to evaluate and improve the therapy workflow. Eventually, a mobile app would enhance the patients’ relationship to their treating department because they are in permanent contact.

  • Collaboration using e-communication tool Congredi. Image sourced by authors and copyright owned by Waldemar Hogerwaard. Permission has been granted to use this image.

    How Professionals Share an E-Care Plan for the Elderly in Primary Care: Evaluating the Use of an E-Communication Tool by Different Combinations of Professionals


    Background: Home-dwelling elderly patients with multimorbidity are at risk of fragmentation of care because of the many different professionals involved and a potentially unclear level of communication. Multidisciplinary communication seems to occur incidentally. Mutual feedback is needed for a professional team to provide consistent care and adequate support to the patient system. eHealth technology can improve outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of a tool, Congredi, for electronic communication by professionals for the care of home-dwelling elderly patients. Methods: The research group was recruited through general practices and home care organizations. Congredi, a tool designed for multidisciplinary communication, was made available for professionals in primary care. It consists of a care plan and a communication channel (secure emailing). Professionals opened Congredi records for elderly patients who had 2 or more professionals involved. The records were the unit of analysis. Data were gathered from the Congredi system over a period of 42 weeks. Results: An inclusion rate of 21.4% (203/950) was achieved; nearly half of the participants were nurses. During the study, professionals were active in 448 patient records; female professionals were prevalent. In the patient records, 3 types of actions (care activities, emailing, and process activities) were registered. Most activities occurred in the multidisciplinary records (mean 12.2), which had twice the number of activities of monodisciplinary records (6.35), and solo records had a mean of 3.43 activities. Most activities were care activities (mean 9.14), emailing had a mean of 0.89 activities, and process activities had a mean of 0.29. Conclusions: An e-communication tool (Congredi) was usable for improving multidisciplinary communication among professionals. It even seemed to yield results for 40% of the professionals who used the e-care plan on their own. The content of the tool provided an active communication practice, with significant increases observed in the actions that must be shared for the effective coordination of care.

  • Older Veterans. Image Source: Author: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Benson/Released. Copyright: Public Domain.

    Older Veteran Digital Disparities: Examining the Potential for Solutions Within Social Networks


    Background: Older adults typically have less access to the Internet than other age groups, and older Veterans may use the Internet even less due to economic and geographic reasons. Objective: To explore solutions to this problem, our study examined older Veterans’ reported ability to access technology through their close social ties. Methods: Data were collected via mail survey from a sample of Veterans aged 65 years and older (N=266). Results: Nearly half (44.0%, 117/266) of the sample reported having no Internet access. Yet, among those without current access, older Veterans reported having a median of 5 (IQR 7) close social ties with home Internet access. These older Veterans also reported that they would feel comfortable asking a median of 2 (IQR 4) social ties for help to access the Internet, and that a median of 2 (IQR 4) social ties would directly access the Internet for the older Veteran to help with health management. Conclusions: Findings suggest that even older Veterans without current Internet access have at least two social ties with home Internet who could be called upon for technology support. Thus, older Veterans may be willing to call upon these “surrogate seekers” for technology assistance and support in health management. This has implications for the digital divide, technology design, and health care policy.

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  • The effect of the General Data Protection Regulation on medical research

    Date Submitted: Dec 7, 2016

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 9, 2016 - Feb 3, 2017

    Background: The enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have an effect on European data science. There were concerns that suggested consent requirements would severely restrict...

    Background: The enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have an effect on European data science. There were concerns that suggested consent requirements would severely restrict medical data research. Objective: To explain the changes in data protection law that apply to medical research and their potential impact. Methods: Analysis of ethico-legal requirements imposed by the GDPR. Results: The GDPR makes the situation regarding pseudonymised data clearer, although it has not been entirely resolved. Biomedical research on personal data where consent has not been obtained must be of substantial public interest. Conclusions: Conclusions: The GDPR makes protections for data subjects more consistent across the EU. The proposed changes will make little impact on biomedical data research.

  • Patient Portals as a Tool for Healthcare Engagement: A mixed-method Study of Older Adults with Varying Levels of Health Literacy and Prior Patient Portal Use

    Date Submitted: Dec 7, 2016

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 9, 2016 - Feb 3, 2017

    Background: Growing evidence that patient engagement improves health outcomes and reduces healthcare costs has fueled healthcare organizations’ focus on patient portals as the primary access point f...

    Background: Growing evidence that patient engagement improves health outcomes and reduces healthcare costs has fueled healthcare organizations’ focus on patient portals as the primary access point for personal health information and patient-provider communication. While much attention has been given to identifying characteristics of older adults who do and do not adopt patient portals and necessary adaptions to portal design, little is known about older adults’ attitudes and perceptions regarding patient portal use as a tool for engagement in their healthcare within the context of health literacy, experience navigating online health information, and previous patient portal use. Objective: The specific aims of this study are to explore attitudes towards portal adoption and its perceived usefulness as a tool for healthcare engagement among adults (65 and older) who have varying levels of health literacy and degrees of prior patient portal use. Methods: A phone survey of 100 community dwelling adults gathered socio-demographic, health and technology related information. Older adults were purposefully selected for four follow-up focus groups based on survey responses to health literacy (high/low) and previous patient portal use (yes/no). A mixed-method approach was used to integrate phone survey data with thematic analysis of four focus groups. Due to variability in attitudes between focus group participants, an individual case analysis was performed and thematic patterns were used as the basis for subgroup formation. Results: Differences in health literacy, comfort navigating health information online, and previous portal experience explained some but not all differences related to the seven themes that emerged in the focus groups analysis. Individual cases who shared attitudes were arranged into 5 subgroups from least to most able and willing to engage in healthcare via a patient portal. The subgroups overall portal adoption attitudes were 1) Don’t want to feel pushed into anything, 2) Will only adopt if required, 3) Somebody needs to help me, 4) See general convenience of the portal for simple tasks and medical history, but prefer human contact for questions, 5) Appreciates current features and excited about new possibilities. Conclusions: Most older adults are interested in using a patient portal regardless of health literacy level, previous patient portal adoption or experience navigating health information online; only a minority of older adults believe security risks or trouble learning something new outweighs the potential benefits. Research targeting informal caregivers of older adults who are unable or unwilling to engage with information technology in healthcare on their own is warranted. Healthcare organizations should consider tailored strategies to meet the needs of older adults (and their informal caregivers) and explore alternative workflows that integrate patient portal information into phone conversations and face-to-face contact with healthcare providers.

  • Randomized Controlled Trials of Technology-Based HIV/STI and Drug Abuse Preventive Interventions for African American and Hispanic Youth: A Systematic Review

    Date Submitted: Dec 8, 2016

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 9, 2016 - Dec 17, 2016

    Background: HIV/STI and drug abuse remain significant public health concerns in the United States, and African American and Hispanic youth are disproportionately affected. Although technology-based in...

    Background: HIV/STI and drug abuse remain significant public health concerns in the United States, and African American and Hispanic youth are disproportionately affected. Although technology-based interventions are efficacious in preventing and reducing HIV/STI and drug use behaviors, relatively little is known with respect to the state of the science among African American and Hispanic youth. Objective: The aim of this review is to identify and examine randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of technology-based HIV/STI and drug abuse preventive interventions for African American and Hispanic youth. Methods: We searched electronic databases (i.e., PubMed, Proquest, PsycINFO, Ebscohost, Google Scholar) to identify studies between January 2006 and October 2016. RCTs of technology-based interventions targeting African American and Hispanic youth HIV/STI risk behaviors, including sexual risk and licit and illicit drug use, and HIV and STI testing, were included. Results: Our search revealed a total of three studies that used a RCT design and included samples comprised of > 50% African American and/or Hispanic youth. The follow-up assessments ranged from two weeks to six months and the number of participants in each trial ranged from 72 to 141. The three interventions were theory driven, interactive, and tailored. The long-term effects of the interventions were mixed, and outcomes included reductions in sex partners, licit drug use, and condomless anal sex acts. Conclusions: Although technology-based interventions seem promising in the prevention of HIV/STI among African American and Hispanic youth, more research is needed.

  • Analysis of Patient Narratives in Disease Blogs on the Internet: An Exploratory Study of Social Pharmacovigilance

    Date Submitted: Dec 8, 2016

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 9, 2016 - Dec 17, 2016

    Background: While several reports have suggested that patient-generated data from Internet sources could be used to improve drug safety and pharmacovigilance, few studies have identified such data sou...

    Background: While several reports have suggested that patient-generated data from Internet sources could be used to improve drug safety and pharmacovigilance, few studies have identified such data sources in Japan. We introduce a unique Japanese data source: tōbyōki, which translates literally as “an account of a struggle with disease.” Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the basic characteristics of the TOBYO database, a collection of tōbyōki blogs on the Internet, and discuss potential applications for pharmacovigilance. Methods: We analyzed the overall gender and age distribution of the patient-generated TOBYO database and compared this with other external databases generated by healthcare professionals. For detailed analysis, we prepared separate datasets for blogs written by patients with depression and blogs written by patients with rheumatoid arthritis, because these conditions were expected to entail subjective patient symptoms such as discomfort, insomnia, and pain. Frequently appearing medical terms were counted and their variations were compared with those in an external adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting database. Frequently appearing words regarding patients with depression and patients with rheumatoid arthritis were visualized using word clouds and word co-occurrence networks. Results: As of 4 June 2016, the TOBYO database comprised 54,010 blogs representing 1405 disorders. Overall, more entries were written by female bloggers (68.8%) than by male bloggers (30.8%). The most frequently observed disorders were breast cancer (4983 blogs), depression (3556), infertility (2430), rheumatoid arthritis (1118), and panic disorder (1090). Comparison of medical terms observed in tōbyōki blogs with those in an external ADR reporting database showed that subjective and symptomatic events and general terms tended to be frequently observed in tōbyōki blogs (e.g. anxiety, headache, and pain) while events using more technical medical terms (e.g. syndrome and abnormal laboratory test result) tended to be observed frequently in the ADR database. We also confirmed the feasibility of using visualization techniques to obtain insights from unstructured text-based tōbyōki blog data. Word clouds described the characteristics of each disorder, such as “sleeping” and “anxiety” in depression and “pain” and “painful” in rheumatoid arthritis. Conclusions: Pharmacovigilance should maintain a strong focus on patients’ actual experiences, concerns, and outcomes, and this approach can be expected to uncover hidden adverse event signals earlier and to help us understand adverse events in a patient-centered way. Patient-generated tōbyōki blogs in the TOBYO database showed unique characteristics that were different from the data in existing sources generated by healthcare professionals. Analysis of tōbyōki blogs would add value to assessment of disorders with high prevalence in women, psychiatric disorders in which subjective symptoms have important clinical meaning, refractory disorders, and other chronic disorders. Clinical Trial: Not applicable

  • Comparison of different recruitment methods for sexual and reproductive health research: social media-based versus conventional methods.

    Date Submitted: Dec 5, 2016

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 8, 2016 - Feb 2, 2017

    Background: Prior research about the sexual and reproductive health of young women has relied on self-reported survey studies. Recruitment using web-based methods can improve sexual and reproductive h...

    Background: Prior research about the sexual and reproductive health of young women has relied on self-reported survey studies. Recruitment using web-based methods can improve sexual and reproductive health research about cervical cancer prevention. In the prior study we reported that Facebook (Menlo Park, CA, USA) is a promising way to reach young women for sexual and reproductive health research. However, it is unknown whether web-based or the other classical recruitment methods (i.e., face-to-face or flyer distribution) yield comparable survey responses from similar participants. Objective: We conducted a survey to determine whether there was a difference in the sexual and reproductive health survey responses of young Japanese women based on recruitment methods, social media-based or conventional methods. Methods: From July 2012 to March 2013 (9 months), we invited 16- to 35-year-old women in Kanagawa, Japan, to complete a web-based questionnaire and recruited through either a social media-based (SNS group) or by conventional methods (Conventional group). All participants enrolled were required to fill out and submit their responses through web-based questionnaire about their sexual and reproductive health for cervical cancer prevention. Results: Of the 243, 52% (127/243) were recruited by SNS, whilst 48% (116/243) were by Conventional methods. We found no differences between recruitment methods in responses to behaviors and attitudes to sexual and reproductive health survey, although more participants from the Conventional group (14.7%, 14/95) selected not to answer the age of first intercourse ) as compared to the SNS group (5.2%, 6/116) (P = .03). Conclusions: No differences were found between recruitment methods in young Japanese women to a social media-based sexual and reproductive health survey.

  • Using Beta-Version Mobile Health Technology for Team-Based Care Management to Support Stroke Prevention: A Qualitative Analysis

    Date Submitted: Dec 5, 2016

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 7, 2016 - Feb 1, 2017

    Background: Beta versions of health information technology tools are needed in service delivery models with health care and community partnerships to confirm the key components and assess the performa...

    Background: Beta versions of health information technology tools are needed in service delivery models with health care and community partnerships to confirm the key components and assess the performance of the tools and impact on users. Using an open-source mobile platform, we developed a care management technology (CMT) for an intervention called Secondary Stroke Prevention by Uniting Community and Chronic Care Model Teams Early to End Disparities (SUCCEED) that is being tested in a randomized controlled trial. In the SUCCEED intervention, community health workers (CHWs) work collaboratively with care managers (CMs) in the health care system to empower recent stroke survivors to eat healthy foods, engage in physical activity, and use medications that can lower the risk of another stroke. The CMT was expected to facilitate achieving the target health outcome of reduced stroke risk by enhancing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare team. Objective: The primary objective was to describe the SUCCEED CMT and investigate CM and CHW perceptions of the CMT’s usefulness for team-based care management. Methods: We performed in-depth analysis of interviews conducted with all users of the beta-version SUCCEED CMT, namely two CMs and three CHWs. They were asked to demonstrate and describe their perceptions of the CMT’s ease of use and usefulness for completing predefined key care management activities. They were also probed about their general perceptions of the CMT’s information quality, ease of use, usefulness, and impact on CM and CHW roles. Interview transcripts were coded using a priori codes. Coded excerpts were grouped into broader themes and then related in a conceptual model of how the CMT facilitated care management. We also conducted a survey with 14 patients to obtain their perspective on CHW tablet use during CHW-patient interactions. Results: Overall, CMs and CHWs expressed that the CMT was useful. It helped them keep track of patient interactions and plan their work to ensure patients received the minimum set of interactions. The CMT guided CMs in developing care plans and allowed them to share the care plans with CHWs. For CHWs, the tool enabled electronic collection of clinical assessment data and provided decision support. It also tracked patients’ risk factor values and allowed CHWs to access these values in the field. Long loading times and downtimes due to outages were the most significant challenges encountered. Additional issues included the inability to link to educational materials outside of the platform or generate graphics of risk factor values over time, the extensive use of free-text responses, lengthy forms, and manual data transfer from the electronic medical record. Despite these challenges, patients overall did not perceive the tablet interfering with CHW-patient interactions. Conclusions: Our findings suggest useful functionalities of CMTs supporting health care and community partners in collaborative chronic care management. However, usability issues need to be addressed during the development process. The SUCCEED CMT is an initial step toward the development of effective health information technology tools to support collaborative, team-based models of care and will need to be modified as the evidence base grows. Future research should assess the CMT’s effects on team performance.