JMIR Formative Research

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EISSN : 2561-326X
Published by: JMIR Publications Inc. (10.2196)
Total articles ≅ 773
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Roberta Pires Corrêa, , Bruna Maria Castro Salomão Quaresma, Paulo Roberto Soares Stephens, , Roberto Rodrigues Ferreira
Published: 22 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/28088

Abstract:
Background The importance of health professionals has been recognized in COVID-19 pandemic–affected countries, especially in those such as Brazil, which is one of the top 3 countries that have been affected in the world. However, the workers’ perception of the stress and the changes that the pandemic has caused in their lives vary according to the conditions offered by these affected countries, including salaries, individual protection equipment, and psychological support. Objective The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of Brazilian health workers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic impact on their lives, including possible self-contamination and mental health. Methods This cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted in Brazil by applying a 32-item questionnaire, including multiple-choice questions by using the Google Forms electronic assessment. This study was designed to capture spontaneous perceptions from health professionals. All questions were mandatory and divided into 2 blocks with different proposals: personal profile and COVID-19 pandemic impact. Results We interviewed Brazilian health professionals from all 5 Brazilian regions (N=1376). Our study revealed that 1 in 5 (23%) complained about inadequate personal protective equipment, including face shields (234/1376, 17.0%), masks (206/1376, 14.9%), and laboratory coats (138/1376, 10.0%), whereas 1 in 4 health professionals did not have enough information to protect themselves from the coronavirus disease. These professionals had anxiety due to COVID-19 (604/1376, 43.9%), difficulties in sleep (593/1376, 43.1%), and concentrating on work (453/1376, 32.9%). Almost one-third experienced traumatic situations at work (385/1376, 28.0%), which may have led to negative feelings of fear of COVID-19 and sadness. Despite this situation, there was hope and empathy among their positive feelings. The survey also showed that 1 in 5 acquired COVID-19 with the most classic and minor symptoms, including headache (274/315, 87.0%), body pain (231/315, 73.3%), tiredness (228/315, 72.4%), and loss of taste and smell (208/315, 66.0%). Some of their negative feelings were higher than those of noninfected professionals (fear of COVID-19, 243/315, 77.1% vs 509/1061, 48.0%; impotence, 142/315, 45.1% vs 297/1061, 28.0%; and fault, 38/315, 12.1% vs 567/1061, 53.4%, respectively). Another worrying outcome was that 61.3% (193/315) reported acquiring an infection while working at a health facility and as expected, most of the respondents felt affected (344/1376, 25.0%) or very affected (619/1376, 45.0%) by the COVID-19. Conclusions In Brazil, the health professionals were exposed to a stressful situation and to the risk of self-contamination—conditions that can spell future psychological problems for these workers. Our survey findings showed that the psychological support for this group should be included in the future health planning of Brazil and of other hugely affected countries to assure a good mental health condition for the medical teams in the near future.
Published: 22 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/33113

Abstract:
Background Increased digitization of health care might challenge some of the trust functions that are established in a traditional health care system. We have, with the concept of VerifyMed, developed a decentralized service for work history and competence verification, as a means to increase trust in the virtual interaction between a patient and a caregiver, mitigate administrative burden, and provide patient-reported outcomes seamlessly for health professionals. Objective This research aimed to validate the use case of a decentralized credentials service for health care professionals in Norway. We also aimed to evaluate the proof-of-concept of VerifyMed, a blockchain-based credential service for health care professionals. Methods A qualitative approach was applied with data collection through 9 semistructured interviews and 2 focus groups (one with 4 participants and the other with 5 participants). The System Usability Scale (SUS) was used as a part of the interviews. Data were analyzed through the principles of systematic text condensation. The recruitment of participants ended when it was concluded that the data had reached saturation. Results The following 5 themes were identified from the interviews and focus groups: (1) the need for aggregated storage of work- and study-related verification, (2) trust in a virtual health care environment, (3) the potential use of patient feedback, (4) trust in blockchain technology, and (5) improvements of the VerifyMed concept. The SUS questionnaire gave a score of 69.7. Conclusions This study has validated the need for a decentralized system where health care professionals can control their credentials and, potentially, their reputation. Future work should update the VerifyMed system according to this input. We concluded that a decentralized system for the storage of work-related verifiable credentials could increase trust in a virtualized health care system.
, , , , , Gitanjali Batmanabane, , Bijayini Behera, Ambarish Das, G Susmita Dora, et al.
Published: 21 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/28519

Abstract:
Background The contact tracing and subsequent quarantining of health care workers (HCWs) are essential to minimizing the further transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection and mitigating the shortage of HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Objective This study aimed to assess the yield of contact tracing for COVID-19 cases and the risk stratification of HCWs who are exposed to these cases. Methods This was an analysis of routine data that were collected for the contact tracing of COVID-19 cases at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, in Odisha, India. Data from March 19 to August 31, 2020, were considered for this study. COVID-19 cases were admitted patients, outpatients, or HCWs in the hospital. HCWs who were exposed to COVID-19 cases were categorized, per the risk stratification guidelines, as high-risk contacts or low-risk contacts Results During contact tracing, 3411 HCWs were identified as those who were exposed to 360 COVID-19 cases. Of these 360 cases, 269 (74.7%) were either admitted patients or outpatients, and 91 (25.3%) were HCWs. After the risk stratification of the 3411 HCWs, 890 (26.1%) were categorized as high-risk contacts, and 2521 (73.9%) were categorized as low-risk contacts. The COVID-19 test positivity rates of high-risk contacts and low-risk contacts were 3.8% (34/890) and 1.9% (48/2521), respectively. The average number of high-risk contacts was significantly higher when the COVID-19 case was an admitted patient (number of contacts: mean 6.6) rather than when the COVID-19 case was an HCW (number of contacts: mean 4.0) or outpatient (number of contacts: mean 0.2; P=.009). Similarly, the average number of high-risk contacts was higher when the COVID-19 case was admitted in a non–COVID-19 area (number of contacts: mean 15.8) rather than when such cases were admitted in a COVID-19 area (number of contacts: mean 0.27; P<.001). There was a significant decline in the mean number of high-risk contacts over the study period (P=.003). Conclusions Contact tracing and risk stratification were effective and helped to reduce the number of HCWs requiring quarantine. There was also a decline in the number of high-risk contacts during the study period. This indicates the role of the implementation of hospital-based, COVID-19–related infection control strategies. The contact tracing and risk stratification approaches that were designed in this study can also be implemented in other health care settings.
Published: 20 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/28622

Abstract:
Background Rural residents are at high risk for obesity; however, little resources exist to address this disproportional burden of disease. Primary care may provide an opportunity to connect primary care patients with overweight and obesity to effective weight management programming. Objective The purpose of this study is to examine the utility of different physician referral and engagement processes for improving the reach of an evidence-based and technology-delivered weight management program with counseling support for rural primary care patients. Methods A total of 5 rural primary care physicians were randomly assigned a sequence of four referral strategies: point-of-care (POC) referral with active telephone follow-up (ATF); POC referral, no ATF; a population health registry–derived letter referral with ATF; and letter referral, no ATF. For registry-derived referrals, physicians screened a list of patients with BMI ≥25 and approved patients for participation to receive a personalized referral letter via mail. Results Out of a potential 991 referrals, 573 (57.8%) referrals were made over 16 weeks, and 98 (9.9%) patients were enrolled in the program (58/98, 59.2% female). Differences based on letter (485/991, 48.9%) versus POC (506/991, 51.1%) referrals were identified for completion (100% vs 7%; P<.001) and for proportion screened (36% vs 12%; P<.001) but not for proportion enrolled (12% vs 8%; P=.10). Patients receiving ATF were more likely to be screened (47% vs 7%; P<.001) and enrolled (15% vs 7%; P<.001) than those not receiving ATF. On the basis of the number of referrals made in each condition, we found variations in the proportion and number of enrollees (POC with ATF: 27/190, 50%; POC no ATF: 14/316, 41%; letter ATF: 30/199; 15.1%; letter no ATF: 27/286, 9.4%). Across all conditions, participants were representative of the racial and ethnic characteristics of the region (60% female, P=.15; 94% White individuals, P=.60; 94% non-Hispanic, P=.19). Recruitment costs totaled US $6192, and the overall recruitment cost per enrolled participant was US $63. Cost per enrolled participant ranged from POC with ATF (US $47), registry-derived letter without ATF (US $52), and POC without ATF (US $56) to registry-derived letter with ATF (US $91). Conclusions Letter referral with ATF appears to be the best option for enrolling a large number of patients in a digitally delivered weight management program; however, POC with ATF and letters without ATF yielded similar numbers at a lower cost. The best referral option is likely dependent on the best fit with clinical resources. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03690557; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03690557
, Peter Peduzzi, Sophia Mun, Kristina Carlson, Chelsea Edwards, James Dziura, Cynthia Brandt, Sandra Alfano,
Published: 19 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/20458

Abstract:
Background The traditional informed consent (IC) process rarely emphasizes research participants’ comprehension of medical information, leaving them vulnerable to unknown risks and consequences associated with procedures or studies. Objective This paper explores how we evaluated the feasibility of a digital health tool called Virtual Multimedia Interactive Informed Consent (VIC) for advancing the IC process and compared the results with traditional paper-based methods of IC. Methods Using digital health and web-based coaching, we developed the VIC tool that uses multimedia and other digital features to improve the current IC process. The tool was developed on the basis of the user-centered design process and Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning. This study is a randomized controlled trial that compares the feasibility of VIC with standard paper consent to understand the impact of interactive digital consent. Participants were recruited from the Winchester Chest Clinic at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, and healthy individuals were recruited from the community using fliers. In this coordinator-assisted trial, participants were randomized to complete the IC process using VIC on the iPad or with traditional paper consent. The study was conducted at the Winchester Chest Clinic, and the outcomes were self-assessed through coordinator-administered questionnaires. Results A total of 50 participants were recruited in the study (VIC, n=25; paper, n=25). The participants in both groups had high comprehension. VIC participants reported higher satisfaction, higher perceived ease of use, higher ability to complete the consent independently, and shorter perceived time to complete the consent process. Conclusions The use of dynamic, interactive audiovisual elements in VIC may improve participants’ satisfaction and facilitate the IC process. We believe that using VIC in an ongoing, real-world study rather than a hypothetical study improved the reliability of our findings, which demonstrates VIC’s potential to improve research participants’ comprehension and the overall process of IC. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02537886; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02537886
Jeremy L Smith, , Carla I Haack, Kathryn L Wehrmeyer, Kayley G Alden, Maha B Lund,
Published: 19 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/24208

Abstract:
Background Health care provider and trainee burnout results in substantial national and institutional costs and profound social effects. Identifying effective solutions and interventions to cultivate resilience among health care trainees is critical. Although less is known about the mental health needs of physician assistants (PAs) or PA students, accumulating research indicates that they experience similarly alarming rates of burnout, depression, and emotional exhaustion. Mobile app–delivered mindfulness meditation may be an effective part of salubrious programming to bolster long-term resilience and health among PA students. Objective This study aims to examine the impact of app-delivered mindfulness meditation on self-reported mental health symptoms among PA students. A secondary aim is to investigate changes in brain connectivity to identify neurobiological changes related to changes in mental health symptoms. Methods We recruited PA students enrolled in their third semester of PA school and used a longitudinal, randomized, wait-list–controlled design. Participants randomized to the mindfulness group were provided 1-year subscriptions to the 10% Happier app, a consumer-based meditation app, and asked to practice every day for 8 weeks. Before randomization and again after completion of the 8-week program, all participants completed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging as well as self-report assessments of burnout, depression, anxiety, and sleep impairment. App use was acquired as a measure of mindfulness practice time. Results PA students randomized to the mindfulness group reported improvements in sleep impairment compared with those randomized to the wait-list control group (ηp2=0.42; P=.01). Sleep impairment decreased significantly in the mindfulness group (19% reduction; P=.006) but not in the control group (1% reduction; P=.71). There were no other significant changes in mental health for those randomized to app-delivered mindfulness. Across all students, changes in sleep impairment were associated with increased resting-state functional connectivity between the medial prefrontal cortex (a component of the default mode network) and the superior temporal gyrus, as well as between areas important for working memory. Changes in connectivity predicted categorical conversion from impaired to nonimpaired sleep in the mindfulness group. Conclusions This pilot study is the first to examine app-based mindfulness for PA students’ mental health and investigate the impact of mindfulness on PA students’ brain function. These findings suggest that app-delivered mindfulness may be an effective tool to improve sleep dysfunction and that it may be an important part of the programming necessary to reduce the epidemic of suffering among health profession trainees.
, Sandy Templeton, Stephanie K Taylor, Sten Harris, Margaret Stewart,
Published: 18 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/33009

Abstract:
Background Lactose malabsorption is a common condition that affects a broad segment of the population. Clinical diagnosis based on symptom recall can be unreliable and conventional testing can be inconvenient, requiring expensive laboratory-based equipment and conduction of the testing in a clinical setting. Objective The aim of this study is to assess the performance of a digital handheld hydrogen breath monitor (GIMate) in diagnosing lactose malabsorption compared to a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–cleared device (H2 Check) for the same indication. Methods An interventional crossover study was performed in adult participants with a prior confirmed diagnosis of lactose malabsorption or a suspected history of lactose intolerance. Results A total of 31 participants (mean age 33.9 years) were enrolled in the study. There was 100% positive percent agreement and 100% negative percent agreement between the GIMate monitor and the H2 Check. Correlation between gastrointestinal symptoms and hydrogen values was positive at 0.82 (P<.001). Conclusions The digital handheld GIMate breath monitor achieved equivalent diagnostic performance to that of an FDA-cleared device in the diagnosis of lactose malabsorption. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04754724; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04754724
, Frans de Jongh, Hanneke van Helvoort
Published: 18 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/30916

Abstract:
Background The Hexoskin is a smart shirt that can take continuous and objective measurements and could be part of a potential telemonitoring system. Objective The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of the calibrated Hexoskin in measuring tidal volumes (TVs) in comparison to spirometry during various tasks. Methods In a cross-sectional study, the TV of 15 healthy subjects was measured while performing seven tasks using spirometry and the Hexoskin. These tasks were performed during two sessions; between sessions, all equipment was removed. A one-time spirometer-based calibration per task was determined in session 1 and applied to the corresponding task in both sessions. Bland-Altman analysis was used to determine the agreement between TV that was measured with the Hexoskin and that measured with spirometry. A priori, we determined that the bias had to be less than ±5%, with limits of agreement (LOA) of less than ±15%. Lung volumes were measured and had to have LOA of less than ±0.150 L. Results In the first session, all tasks had a median bias within the criteria (±0.6%). In the second session, biases were ±8.9%; only two tasks met the criteria. In both sessions, LOA were within the criteria in six out of seven tasks (±14.7%). LOA of lung volumes were greater than 0.150 L. Conclusions The Hexoskin was able to correctly measure TV in healthy subjects during various tasks. However, after reapplication of the equipment, calibration factors were not able to be reused to obtain results within the determined boundaries. Trial Registration Netherlands Trial Register NL6934; https://www.trialregister.nl/trial/6934
Kirsi Halttu,
Published: 14 October 2021
JMIR Formative Research, Volume 5; https://doi.org/10.2196/23968

Abstract:
Background Need for cognition (NFC) is among the most studied personality traits in psychology. Despite its apparent relevance for engaging with technology and the use of information, it has not been studied in the context of self-monitoring systems and wearables for health. This study is the first to explore the relationship between NFC and commercial self-monitoring systems among healthy users. Objective This study aims to explore the effect of NFC levels on the selection of self-monitoring systems and evaluation of system features of self-monitoring and feedback, as well as perceived credibility and perceived persuasiveness. We also assessed perceived behavior change in the form of self-reported activity after adopting the system. Methods Survey data were collected in October 2019 among university students and personnel. The invitation to respond to the questionnaire was addressed to those who had used a digital system to monitor their physical activity for at least two months. The web-based questionnaire comprised the following 3 parts: details of system use, partially randomly ordered theoretical measurement items, and user demographics. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The effect of NFC was assessed both as 3 groups (low, moderate, and high) and as a continuous moderator variable. Results In all, 238 valid responses to the questionnaire were obtained. Individuals with high NFC reported all tested system features with statistically significantly higher scores. The NFC also had some effect on system selection. Hypothesized relationships with perceived credibility gained support in a different way for individuals with low and high NFC; for those with low NFC, credibility increased the persuasiveness of the system, but this effect was absent among individuals with high NFC. For users with high NFC, credibility was related to feedback and self-monitoring and perhaps continuously evaluated during prolonged use instead of being a static system property. Furthermore, the relationship between perceived persuasiveness and self-reported activity after adopting the system had a large effect size (Cohen f2=0.355) for individuals with high NFC, a small effect size for individuals with moderate NFC (Cohen f2=0.107), and a nonsignificant path (P=.16) for those with low NFC. We also detected a moderating effect of NFC in two paths on perceived persuasiveness but only among women. Our research model explained 59.2%, 63.9%, and 47.3% of the variance in perceived persuasiveness of the system among individuals with low, moderate, and high NFC, respectively. Conclusions The system choices of individuals seem to reflect their intrinsic motivations to engage with rich data, and commercial systems might themselves be a tailoring strategy. Important characteristics of the system, such as perceived credibility, have different roles depending on the NFC levels. Our data demonstrate that NFC as a trait that differentiates information processing has several implications for the selection, design, and tailoring of self-monitoring systems.
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