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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 2017: 4.671), i-JMR is a JMIR "sister journal" with a projected impact factor of about 2.03 (2016) which features a rapid and thorough peer-review process, professional copyediting, professional production of PDF, XHTML, and XML proofs.

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

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

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Radboud Annals of Medical Students; Copyright: Julia ten Elzen; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2018/2/e16; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA).

    Importance and Presence of High-Quality Evidence for Clinical Decisions in Neurosurgery: International Survey of Neurosurgeons

    Abstract:

    Background: The publication rate of neurosurgical guidelines has increased tremendously over the past decade; however, only a small proportion of clinical decisions appear to be based on high-quality evidence. Objective: The aim was to evaluate the evidence available within neurosurgery and its value within clinical practice according to neurosurgeons. Methods: A Web-based survey was sent to 2552 neurosurgeons, who were members of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies. Results: The response rate to the survey was 6.78% (173/2552). According to 48.6% (84/173) of the respondents, neurosurgery clinical practices are based on less evidence than other medical specialties and not enough high-quality evidence is available; however, 84.4% (146/173) of the respondents believed neurosurgery is amenable to evidence. Of the respondents, 59.0% (102/173) considered the neurosurgical guidelines in their hospital to be based on high-quality evidence, most of whom considered their own treatments to be based on high-quality (level I and/or level II) data (84.3%, 86/102; significantly more than for the neurosurgeons who did not consider the hospital guidelines to be based on high-quality evidence: 55%, 12/22; P<.001). Also, more neurosurgeons with formal training believed they could understand, criticize, and interpret statistical outcomes presented in journals than those without formal training (93%, 56/60 and 68%, 57/84 respectively; P<.001). Conclusions: According to the respondents, neurosurgery is based on high-quality evidence less often than other medical specialties. The results of the survey indicate that formal training in evidence-based medicine would enable neurosurgeons to better understand, criticize, and interpret statistical outcomes presented in journals.

  • A person reading an article about yoga. Source: Wikimedia Commons / Smartmockups.com; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2018/2/e14/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Characterizing Websites That Provide Information About Complementary and Integrative Health: Systematic Search and Evaluation of Five Domains

    Abstract:

    Background: In recent years, there has been an increase in the utilization of complementary and integrative health (CIH) care, and an increase in information-seeking behavior focused on CIH. Thus, understanding the quality of CIH information that is available on the internet is imperative. Although there have been a limited number of studies evaluating the quality of websites providing information about specific CIH-related topics, a broad evaluation of CIH websites has not been conducted. Objective: This study was designed to fill that gap. We set out to assess website quality in 5 CIH domains: (1) acupuncture, (2) homeopathy, (3) massage, (4) reiki, and (5) yoga. This study aimed to 1) characterize the websites by type and quality; 2) evaluate website characteristics which may affect readers’ perceptions, specifically message content, structural features, and presentation style, and 3) investigate the extent to which harms, benefits and purposes of use are stated on websites. Methods: This study employed a systematic search strategy to identify websites in each of the target domains to be evaluated. The websites were then classified by type, and a set of checklists focusing on quality, message content, structural features, and presentation style was used to evaluate the websites. Lastly, we performed content analysis to identify harms, benefits, and perceived purposes of use. Results: There were similarities across domains regarding their overall quality and their message content. Across all domains, a high proportion of websites received strong scores in terms of ownership, currency, interactivity and navigability. Scores were more variable concerning authorship, balanced presentation of information and the use of sources of information. However, there were differences regarding their structural features and presentation style. Acupuncture and reiki sites tended to include more external links, and yoga, fewer. There was variation across domains in the extent to which the websites contained domain-specific terminology. Websites tended to provide an extensive list of potential benefits, while reporting of harms was scarce. Conclusions: This is the first study to perform a multidimensional assessment of websites in multiple CIH domains. This review showed that while there are similarities among websites of different CIH domains, there are also differences. The diverse distribution of website types suggests that, regardless of CIH domain, the public encounters information through many different types of media, and it would be useful to consider how the presentation of this content may differ depending on the medium. The characteristics for which variability exist are areas that warrant greater attention from researchers, policy makers, clinicians and patients. There is also a need to better understand how individuals may interact with CIH websites, and to develop tools to assist people to interpret the CIH-related information that they encounter.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Karen Day; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2018/2/e11026/; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Arthritis-Related Support in a Social Media Group for Quilting Hobbyists: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: People with arthritis are increasingly seeking support online, particularly for information about social role participation while experiencing symptoms of chronic arthritis. Social media enables peer-to-peer support on how serious leisure (eg, hobbies such as quilting) can be adapted to allow participation. Research is needed to understand what type of peer support is provided online and how this support occurs. Objective: The aim of our study was to explore what kind of support is offered by fellow hobbyists (with or without arthritis) in response to requests for advice in a social media group. Methods: Three vignettes were posted on a Facebook quilting group regarding arthritis-related symptoms or impairments that affect how people quilt. A Facebook Insights report was used to examine the groups’ demographics. Responses to the vignettes were thematically analyzed. Results: The members of the quilting Facebook group were mostly women (18,376/18,478, 99.45%), aged 55 to 64 years, and most were located in the United States. In response to the vignettes, the 22 participants predominantly offered emotional support and shared information. Participants shared their real-life experiences and creative means in adapting medical advice to their crafting. More than half (30/54, 56%) of the advice that was offered aligned with the OrthoInfo medical best practice guidelines relevant to the vignettes. Conclusions: Serious leisure social media groups can be useful forums for sharing information about arthritis-related issues. People do respond to requests for support and information, although there is a difference between quilting support (eg, “I need a new iron, what should I buy?”) and health support (eg, “I have arthritis, what scissors should I buy?”). People provide emotional support for life events on serious leisure social media platforms (eg, offering condolences when a person states that she is making a memory quilt), and this extends to health issues when group members reveal them.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: whatwolf; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/healthy-lifestyle-medicine-nutritional-supplements-and-people-concept-close-up-of-male-hands-holding-pills-with-cod-liver-oil-capsules-and-water-glass_1206307.htm#term=fish%20oil&page=2&position=30; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Health Information Discrepancies Between Internet Media and Scientific Papers Reporting on Omega-3 Supplement Research: Comparative Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Dietary supplements are the most used complementary and alternative health modality in the United States, and omega-3 supplements continue to be the most popularly used nonvitamin or nonmineral supplements by adults. Users of dietary supplements report that they obtain health guidance from internet media resources, but there is question as to whether or not these resources provide the necessary evidence to guide health decisions. Current evidence suggests that there is a mistranslation occurring somewhere between researchers and the media. Objective: The aim of this study was to conduct a comparative cross-sectional analysis to identify areas of discordance created when science is translated from the laboratory to Web-based news media. Methods: A Google news search provided our convenience sample of 40 omega-3 supplement–based media reports stratified by the years 2009 to 2012. Media reports (n=17) were compared with the corresponding scientific papers for content. Report and scientific paper content were extracted using commonly accepted reporting guideline domains, and domains were then compared for detecting underlying omissions or mistranslations in reporting. Mean scores for all of the scientific papers and media reports were assessed for each domain. Results: Scientific papers (n=14) generally maintained a mean close to complete for each reporting domain. The only domain where there was not a significant difference between media and scientific reporting match was within the objectives domain (χ21= 0.8, P=.36). Media reports (n=17) more frequently reported potential caveats and warnings for consumers with a mean domain for caveat reporting of 0.88, with possible scores falling between 0 and 1. Conclusions: There are inherent differences in the intended audience, structure, and goals in scientific and media communications. These differences should be explored further, and consumers should be made aware of them. Additional considerations for balanced reporting and reader accessibility are also necessary to take into account and are explored further in this analysis.

  • Source: Max Pixel; Copyright: Max Pixel; URL: https://www.maxpixel.net/People-Boy-Ipad-Child-Toddler-Tablet-Baby-Kid-2564425; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Use of Electronic Entertainment and Communication Devices Among a Saudi Pediatric Population: Cross-Sectional Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Excessive use of various electronic entertainment and communication devices, particularly among children, has been associated with increased behavioral problems. Despite children’s escalating use of these devices, parents’ awareness about the impact thereof is still lacking. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the use of electronic entertainment and communication devices among children attending a health care facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as well as the parental impression regarding the impact of electronic devices use on the behavior of their child. Methods: A focused 15-item questionnaire was designed for this cross-sectional study involving mothers of children attending the Well Baby Clinic of King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from July 1, 2016 to November 30, 2016. Results: This study included 190 mothers. The mean ages of the children, mothers, and fathers were 7.3 (SD 3.5), 35 (SD 6.5), and 43 (SD 8.3) years, respectively. Most children were of Saudi Arabian nationality (106/190, 55.8%). The most used device in this study was television (154/190, 81.0%), followed by mobile phones (134/190, 70.5%), and tablets (116/190, 61.0%). Computers were the least used device in this study (59/190, 31.0%). In total, 24.7% (47/190) of children in this study used electronic entertainment and communication devices for more than 4 hours per day. Most mothers (129/190, 67.9%) felt that their child spends too much time on electronic devices. Hyperactivity or behavioral problems were reported by 20.0% (38/190) of mothers in this study. Children spending longer hours on electronic devices were much more likely to be perceived to suffer from hyperactivity or behavioral problems (P=.01). Conclusions: Parental awareness is necessary to counteract the harmful effects of using electronic devices for a prolonged period. Parents require help to cope with this problem effectively.

  • Stroke website evaluation (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit.net; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2018/2/e10440/; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Trustworthiness, Readability, and Suitability of Web-Based Information for Stroke Prevention and Self-Management for Korean Americans: Critical Evaluation

    Abstract:

    Background: Websites are common sources of health information to stroke survivors and caregivers for continual management of stroke and its long-term sequelae. The presence of risk factors and mortality rates related to stroke are high in Korean Americans. A vast majority of this group are active Web users and rely on the Web-based information due to lack of insurance and, thus, limited access to long-term stroke care. Thus, it is critical to evaluate existing stroke websites for their trustworthiness, readability, and suitability. Objective: The objective of our study was to provide a systematic evaluation of stroke-related websites regarding (1) trustworthiness, (2) readability, and (3) suitability for stroke prevention and self-management for Korean Americans. Methods: We selected a total of 156 websites using search terms “stroke,” “CVA,” “중풍 (jungpung),” and “뇌졸증 (noejoljung)” on Google and Yahoo. After eliminating duplicates and irrelevant websites (n=116), we evaluated a total of 42 websites (15 in English and 27 in Korean) using the National Library of Medicine’s health website’s evaluation tool for trustworthiness; Simple Measure of Gobbledygook for readability; and Suitability Assessment of Materials for suitability. All three instruments used the 3-point Likert scale: superior (=2), adequate (=1), or not suitable (=0). Results: Of the 42 websites evaluated, we rated 62% (26/42) websites as “adequate” or above for trustworthiness. The information on 48% (20/42) websites had not been updated for more than a year, which indicates poor currency; 33% (14/42) websites failed to provide the publisher and contact information, which yields poor authority; 50% (21/42) websites did not cite sources of health information, which indicates lack of accuracy. Only 2 websites met the recommended readability (5th grade or lower reading level). The suitability was also suboptimal; only 1 website was rated as “superior”; 60% (25/42) websites were “adequate,” and 38% (16/42) were “not suitable.” Most websites were limited in graphical directions, interactive motivations for desired healthy behaviors, and multiple language translations. Conclusions: The existing stroke-related websites in either English or Korean are trustworthy and suitable, yet precise citation of evidence-based information will improve trustworthiness. The contents requiring high reading level may set a barrier to the utilization of Web-based health information for Korean Americans with a lower level of education. In addition, supplementing graphical examples, interaction features, and culturally relevant information in multiple languages are the areas for improvement in suitability. The improved features can reduce the reading burden of stroke patients or caregivers and build their confidence when applying the information for stroke management in daily living. These strategies are especially crucial to Korean Americans, who inevitably seek Web-based information to fill the gap between their demand and access to health care for a long-term self-management after a stroke.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Skeeze; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/firefighter-training-live-fire-1717918/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Health Information on Firefighter Websites: Structured Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Owing to the fact that firefighters have unique health risks, access to firefighter-specific internet-based health information is a potential mechanism for achieving better health and work outcomes. Objective: The objective of our study was to identify the amount and nature of health information resources available on Canadian firefighter-specific websites and the extent to which resources are consistent across websites as a surrogate indicator of diffusion of information. Methods: A search of health resources on firefighter websites (union and employer) for all Canadian provinces, major cities and a subset of smaller cities, and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) website was conducted on Google (July 2017). Content was identified and classified based on the type of resource, health focus, and location. The quantity and nature of the resources were summarized using descriptive statistics. Results: Among all (N=313) websites reviewed, 41 websites had health information with a cumulative total of 128 resources that addressed firefighter mental (59/128, 46.1%), physical (43/128, 33.6%), and work health (26/128, 20.3%). The highest density of information was found on international and national websites (13 resources per website) and the least on local websites (1 resource per 7 websites). Three provinces (Ontario, Québec, and British Columbia) hosted 81% (65/80) of the provincial, territorial and local resources. General mental health (20/59, 34%), posttraumatic stress disorder (14/59, 24%), and suicide (14/59, 24%) were the most prevalent topics within the mental health resources, whereas half (21/43, 49%) of all physical health resources were on cancer. No resources from Northern Canada were found. Musculoskeletal health was not mentioned in any of the resources identified. There was minimal cross-linking of resources across sites (only 4 resources were duplicated across sites), and there was no clear indication of how the content was vetted or evaluated for quality. Conclusions: There was wide variation in the amount and type of information available on different firefighter websites with limited diffusion of information across jurisdictions. Quality evaluation and coordination of resources should be considered to enhance firefighters’ access to quality health information to meet their specific needs. Mental health and cancer information aligned with high rates of these health problems in firefighters, whereas the lack of information on musculoskeletal health was discordant with their high rate of work injury claims for these problems.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Foundry; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/phone-technology-work-mobile-869669/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Characteristics of Adults’ Use of Facebook and the Potential Impact on Health Behavior: Secondary Data Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Social influences are a primary factor in the adoption of health behaviors. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, disseminate information, raise awareness, and provide motivation and support for positive health behaviors. Facebook has evolved rapidly and is now a part of many individuals' daily routine. The high degree of individual engagement and low attrition rate of this platform necessitate consideration for a potentially positive impact on health behavior. Objective: The aim of this paper is to investigate the use of Facebook by adults. Knowledge is limited to the unique characteristics of Facebook users, including time spent on Facebook by adults of various age groups. Characteristics of Facebook users are important to understand to direct efforts to engage adults in future health behavior interventions. Methods: Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for this secondary analysis of existing de-identified survey data collected for the Pew Research Center. The sample included adults age 18-65 years and above. Binomial logistic regression was performed for the model of age group and Facebook use, controlling for other demographics. A multinomial logistic regression model was used for the variable of time spent on Facebook. Based on the regression models, we computed and reported the marginal effects on Facebook use and time spent of adults age groups, including age groups 18-29, 30-49, 50-64, and 65 and over. We discuss these findings in the context of the implications for promoting positive health behaviors. Results: The demographics of the final sample (N=730) included adults age 18-65 years and above (mean 48.2 yrs, SD 18.3 yrs). The majority of the participants were female (372/730, 50.9%), white (591/730, 80.9%) and non-Hispanic (671/730, 91.9%). Bivariate analysis indicated that Facebook users and nonusers differed significantly by age group (χ2=76.71, P<.001) and sex (χ2=9.04, P=.003). Among subjects aged 50 and above, the predicted probability was 66% for spending the same amount of time, 10% with increased time, and 24% with decreased time. Conclusions: The key findings of this study were Facebook use among midlife and older adults was more likely to stay the same over time, compared to the other age groups. Interestingly, the young adult age group 18-29 years was more likely to decrease their time on Facebook over time. Specifically, younger females were most likely to decrease time spent on Facebook. In general, male participants were most likely to spend the same amount of time on Facebook. These findings have implications for future health intervention research, and ultimately, for translation to the clinic setting to improve health outcomes.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Chi Tranter; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chitranter/16220600178; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Factors Affecting Bone Mineral Density Among Snowy Region Residents in Japan: Analysis Using Multiple Linear Regression and Bayesian Network Model

    Abstract:

    Background: As the onset of osteoporosis leads to reduced activities of daily living and may result in patients being bedridden, efforts to prevent decreased bone density are necessary. Various studies on the relationship between sex, age, nutrients, and exercise habits and bone mineral density have been conducted to date. However, for snowy region residents, the magnitude of influence of various factors affecting bone mineral density and the influence level have not been clarified. Objective: This study aimed to clarify the degree of influence and factors influencing bone mineral density based on survey results on health conditions and lifestyle habits in heavy snow areas. Methods: A total of 354 citizens who visited a drugstore in the target area were included in a study that included using the brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire on lifestyle and exercise habits. Height, weight, body composition, and bone densitometer values were analyzed using multiple regression to calculate their association with bone mineral density. In addition, a Bayesian network model was used to determine the influence level of each factor as a conditional probability. Results: Multiple regression analysis revealed that age, sex, fracture, and calcium intake significantly influenced bone mineral density. In addition, the result of Bayesian network analysis suggested that age and sex affected bone mineral density, whereas nutrients and exercise habits might not have a direct impact. However, calcium intake and the T-score were significant factors affecting the presence or absence of fracture experiences, suggesting that adequate calcium intake is essential for preventing fractures. Conclusions: In the multiple regression analysis, age, sex, fracture, and calcium intake were selected as factors; however, in the Bayesian analysis, only age and sex affected bone mineral density while nutrients did not. In addition, the fact that calcium intake and the T-score were shown to affect bone fracture history suggests that calcium intake is an important measure that can prevent bone fractures. Overall, these results suggest that measures such as ensuring a bone fracture–free environment and providing nutritional advice for calcium intake can be effective in preventing bone loss.

  • How tinnitus is represented on Facebook (montage). Source: Tinnitus Support Group / Smartmockups.com; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2018/1/e9/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Representation of Tinnitus in the US Newspaper Media and in Facebook Pages: Cross-Sectional Analysis of Secondary Data

    Abstract:

    Background: When people with health conditions begin to manage their health issues, one important issue that emerges is the question as to what exactly do they do with the information that they have obtained through various sources (eg, news media, social media, health professionals, friends, and family). The information they gather helps form their opinions and, to some degree, influences their attitudes toward managing their condition. Objective: This study aimed to understand how tinnitus is represented in the US newspaper media and in Facebook pages (ie, social media) using text pattern analysis. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study based upon secondary analyses of publicly available data. The 2 datasets (ie, text corpuses) analyzed in this study were generated from US newspaper media during 1980-2017 (downloaded from the database US Major Dailies by ProQuest) and Facebook pages during 2010-2016. The text corpuses were analyzed using the Iramuteq software using cluster analysis and chi-square tests. Results: The newspaper dataset had 432 articles. The cluster analysis resulted in 5 clusters, which were named as follows: (1) brain stimulation (26.2%), (2) symptoms (13.5%), (3) coping (19.8%), (4) social support (24.2%), and (5) treatment innovation (16.4%). A time series analysis of clusters indicated a change in the pattern of information presented in newspaper media during 1980-2017 (eg, more emphasis on cluster 5, focusing on treatment inventions). The Facebook dataset had 1569 texts. The cluster analysis resulted in 7 clusters, which were named as: (1) diagnosis (21.9%), (2) cause (4.1%), (3) research and development (13.6%), (4) social support (18.8%), (5) challenges (11.1%), (6) symptoms (21.4%), and (7) coping (9.2%). A time series analysis of clusters indicated no change in information presented in Facebook pages on tinnitus during 2011-2016. Conclusions: The study highlights the specific aspects about tinnitus that the US newspaper media and Facebook pages focus on, as well as how these aspects change over time. These findings can help health care providers better understand the presuppositions that tinnitus patients may have. More importantly, the findings can help public health experts and health communication experts in tailoring health information about tinnitus to promote self-management, as well as assisting in appropriate choices of treatment for those living with tinnitus.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Vic; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59632563@N04/6104068209; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    The Validity of Online Patient Ratings of Physicians: Analysis of Physician Peer Reviews and Patient Ratings

    Abstract:

    Background: Information from ratings sites are increasingly informing patient decisions related to health care and the selection of physicians. Objective: The current study sought to determine the validity of online patient ratings of physicians through comparison with physician peer review. Methods: We extracted 223,715 reviews of 41,104 physicians from 10 of the largest cities in the United States, including 1142 physicians listed as “America’s Top Doctors” through physician peer review. Differences in mean online patient ratings were tested for physicians who were listed and those who were not. Results: Overall, no differences were found between the online patient ratings based upon physician peer review status. However, statistical differences were found for four specialties (family medicine, allergists, internal medicine, and pediatrics), with online patient ratings significantly higher for those physicians listed as a peer-reviewed “Top Doctor” versus those who were not. Conclusions: The results of this large-scale study indicate that while online patient ratings are consistent with physician peer review for four nonsurgical, primarily in-office specializations, patient ratings were not consistent with physician peer review for specializations like anesthesiology. This result indicates that the validity of patient ratings varies by medical specialization.

  • Source: Wikimedia Commons; Copyright: Norwood (Charity); URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Norwood_adult_services.jpg; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    Quality of Web Information About Palliative Care on Websites from the United States and Japan: Comparative Evaluation Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients and their families are able to obtain information about palliative care from websites easily nowadays. However, there are concerns on the accuracy of information on the Web and how up to date it is. Objective: The objective of this study was to elucidate problematic points of medical information about palliative care obtained from websites, and to compare the quality of the information between Japanese and US websites. Methods: We searched Google Japan and Google USA for websites relating to palliative care. We then evaluated the top 50 websites from each search using the DISCERN and LIDA instruments. Results: We found that Japanese websites were given a lower evaluation of reliability than US websites. In 3 LIDA instrument subcategories—engagability (P<.001), currency (P=.001), and content production procedure (P<.001)—US websites scored significantly higher and had large effect sizes. Conclusions: Our results suggest that Japanese websites have problems with the frequency with which they are updated, their update procedures and policies, and the scrutiny process the evidence must undergo. Additionally, there was a weak association between search ranking and reliability, and simultaneously we found that reliability could not be assessed by search ranking alone.

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  • The use of social media in US healthcare and its facilitators and barriers: Systematic literature review

    Date Submitted: Sep 26, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Sep 30, 2018 - Nov 25, 2018

    Background: With the advent of internet-based communications, face-to-face interactions are becoming increasingly uncommon and inconvenient, including those between the doctor and the patient. Social...

    Background: With the advent of internet-based communications, face-to-face interactions are becoming increasingly uncommon and inconvenient, including those between the doctor and the patient. Social media (SM) has been recognized as a tool that could potentially help nourish and expand relationships in healthcare; however, much remains to be explored. Objective: A systematic literature Review (SLR) was conducted to explore the use of SM in the United States (US) healthcare setting, and the characteristics of its use, including barriers and facilitators. Methods: A SLR was conducted using three peer-reviewed databases; PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE. EBSCOhost database was included to gain a deeper understanding of companies’ use of SM and any lessons that can be learnt and applied to the healthcare setting. Results: Over the last decade there has been a rapid shift in the US towards the uptake of SM technologies, with many hospitals now using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook for communication, health promotion, education and research. SM can also present a competitive and financial advantage to increase a hospital’s reputation and reduce costs. However, despite its many proven or apparent uses, SM also brings with it many challenges, such as ethical considerations, need for clear guidelines and evaluation, perceptions and attitudes of patients and staff, and the possibility of mismatched offer versus patients’ needs. Conclusions: The future of SM lies first of all in developing sound practices, and in its integration into the hospitals’ overall communication strategies, as well as expanding the number of uses and stakeholders involved.

  • Gadgets in gearing learning of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Rwandan

    Date Submitted: Sep 12, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Sep 16, 2018 - Nov 11, 2018

    Background: The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased rapidly in the last few decades due to the combination of biopsychosocial and environmental factors. Mobile phones, tablets a...

    Background: The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased rapidly in the last few decades due to the combination of biopsychosocial and environmental factors. Mobile phones, tablets and others electronic gadgets have transformed our communication, health care and learning. The appropriate use of these devices may benefit the learning of the children with ASD. Objective: This research aims to find out how smart mobile phones and tablets can be used as a tool to potentiate the learning of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Rwanda. Methods: This qualitative study was conducted from January 2017 to August 2017. Researchers conducted five Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with 56 participants from different background: teacher, school manager, parent, students with ASD, specialist in autism and special education. Each of the FGD took approximately two hours. A pre-defined set of open-ended questions were selected to evaluate the people’s perception regarding assistive technologies used in ASD, ongoing activities, future implementation, the upcoming challenges and opportunities to use technology-based care to improve lives of persons with ASD. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: In the interviews the school managers suggested that the integration of ICT tools will be helpful to educate the children with ASD. The performance of the children with autism in using the cognitive application appeared. The parents of children with ASD reported that their children were more interested in watching television, playing digital games, and drawing objects using gadgets than the real world. Conclusions: This research supports the perception of integrating of smart gadgets in the Rwandan educational system as a potential solution to support and build the competency of children with ASD. Increasing social awareness of ASD and enhancing the motivation of Rwandan teachers would help to reduce the stigma of ASD among families and communities in Rwanda. However, the domain of ASD and the use of ICT need further research on program implementation and evaluation in a larger population sample.

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