JMIR Research Protocols
Ongoing trials, grant proposals, and methods
Editor-in-Chief: Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI
Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI
Low back pain (LBP) is an increasingly burdensome condition for patients and health professionals alike, with consistent demonstration of increasing persistent pain and disability. Previous decision support tools for LBP management have focused on a subset of factors owing to time constraints and ease of use for the clinician. With the explosion of interest in machine learning tools and the commitment from Western governments to introduce this technology, there are opportunities to develop intelligent decision support tools. We will do this for LBP using a Bayesian network, which will entail constructing a clinical reasoning model elicited from experts.
Every year, approximately 42 million people sustain a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI, also known as concussion), with particularly high rates among college-aged individuals. A substantial proportion of these people (44%-64%) develop persistent symptoms that are challenging to treat, costly, and associated with significant disability. Anxiety has emerged as a risk factor for progression from acute to persistent mTBI symptoms.
Even before COVID-19, there has been an urgent need to expand access to and quality of mental health care. This paper introduces an 8-week treatment protocol to realize that vision—Technology Enabled Clinical Care (TECC). TECC offers innovation in clinical assessment, monitoring, and interventions for mental health. TECC uses the mindLAMP app to enable digital phenotyping, clinical communication, and smartphone-based exercises that will augment in-person or telehealth virtual visits. TECC exposes participants to an array of evidence-based treatments (cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy) introduced through clinical sessions and then practiced through interactive activities provided through a smartphone app called mindLAMP.
Social distancing is a crucial intervention to slow down person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. However, social distancing has negative consequences, including increases in depression and anxiety. Digital interventions, such as text messaging, can provide accessible support on a population-wide scale. We developed text messages in English and Spanish to help individuals manage their depressive mood and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The successful recruitment and retention of health professionals to rural and remote areas of Australia is a health policy priority. Nursing or allied health professional students’ learning placements in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia, most of which is considered remote, may influence rural or remote work location decisions.
Delays in patient discharge can not only lead to deterioration, especially among geriatric patients, but also incorporate unnecessary resources at the hospital level. Many of these delays and their negative impact may be preventable by early focused screening to identify patients at risk for transfer to a post-acute care facility. Early interprofessional discharge planning is crucial in order to fit the appropriate individual discharge destination. While prediction of discharge to a post-acute care facility using post-acute care discharge score, the self-care index, and a combination of both has been shown in a single-center pilot study, an external validation is still missing.
Long-term physical, cognitive, and psychosocial problems resulting from moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can prevent individuals from returning to preinjury lifestyles because of significant challenges with employment, leisure, and relationships. While physical activity (PA) is proposed as a cost-effective method to alleviate problems after moderate to severe TBI, there is no review to date that synthesizes the evidence for PA in the community-based context. Further, although sex- and gender-based considerations in research are considered requisite to good science, there is no review on PA and TBI that has included this explicit focus.
Self-tracking via wearable and mobile technologies is becoming an essential part of personal health management. At this point, however, little information is available to substantiate the validity and reliability of low-cost consumer-based hip and wrist activity monitors, with regard more specifically to the measurements of step counts and distance traveled while walking.
Orthodontic treatment is a common health care intervention; treatment duration can be lengthy (2-3 years on average), and adherence to treatment advice is therefore essential for successful outcomes. It has been reported that up to 43% of patients fail to complete treatment, and there are currently no useful predictors of noncompletion. Given that the National Health Service England annual expenditure on primary-care orthodontic treatment is in excess of £200 million (US $267 million), noncompletion of treatment represents a significant inefficient use of public resources. Improving adherence to treatment is therefore essential. This necessitates behavior change, and interventions that improve adherence and are designed to elicit behavioral change must address an individual’s capability, opportunity, and motivation. Mobile phones are potentially an invaluable tool in this regard, as they are readily available and can be used in a number of ways to address an individual’s capability, opportunity, and motivation.
Stroke systems of care differ between larger urban and smaller rural settings and it is unclear to what extent this may impact on patient outcomes. Ethnicity influences stroke risk factors and care delivery as well as patient outcomes in nonstroke settings. Little is known about the impact of ethnicity on poststroke care, especially in Māori and Pacific populations.
Dementias—including Alzheimer disease—and Parkinson disease profoundly impact the quality of life of older population members and their families. PROCare4Life (Personalized Integrated Care Promoting Quality of Life for Older Adults) is a European project that recognizes the benefit of technology-based integrated care models in improving the care coordination and the quality of life of these target groups. This project proposes an integrated, scalable, and interactive care platform targeting older people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, their caregivers, and socio-health professionals. PROCare4Life adopts a user-centered design approach from the early stage and throughout platform development and implementation, during which the platform is designed and adapted to the needs and requirements of all the involved users.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common noncommunicable diseases. DM has a substantial negative impact on patients’ quality of life, which is measured using a variety of diabetes-specific measures covering multiple aspects of patients’ psychological state, behavior, and treatment satisfaction. A fully digital data collection system, including patient identification, would represent a substantial advance in how these patient-reported outcome (PRO) data are measured. Within the European Union, one way to identify patients without the involvement of health care professionals is to use the unique 2D matrix codes on the packaging of prescription medication—for example, metformin, the recommended initial treatment for patients with type 2 DM (T2DM).
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