Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
Journal of Medical Internet Research [journal]
- Predictors of Participant Retention in a Guided Online Self-Help Program for University Students: Prospective Cohort Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e96.
BACKGROUND:Attrition is a persistent issue in online self-help programs, but limited research is available on reasons for attrition or successful methods for improving participant retention. One potential approach to understanding attrition and retention in such programs is to examine person-related variables (eg, beliefs and attitudes) that influence behavior. Theoretical models, such as the Theory of Planned Behavior, that describe conditions influencing human behavior may provide a useful framework for predicting participant retention in online-based program.
OBJECTIVE:We examined predictors of participant retention in a guided online anxiety, depression, and stress self-help program for university students using the theory of planned behavior. We also explored whether age, symptom severity, and type of coaching (ie, email vs phone) affected participant retention.
METHODS:65 university students with mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and stress were enrolled in this prospective cohort study. Participants completed a questionnaire based on the theory of planned behavior prior to commencing the online-based program and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) during the assessment module of the program. Participant retention was operationalized as the number of program modules completed.
RESULTS:Perceived control over completing the online program significantly predicted intention to complete the program (F3,62=6.7; P=.001; adjusted R(2)=.2; standardized beta=.436, P=.001). Age (standardized beta=.319, P=.03) and perceived behavioral control (standardized beta=.295, P=.05) predicted the number of program modules completed (F3,61=3.20, P=.03, adjusted R(2) =.11). Initial level of distress (ie, symptom severity) did not predict participant retention (P=.55). Participants who chose phone-based coaching completed more program modules than participants who chose email-based coaching (Mann-Whitney's U=137; P=.004).
CONCLUSIONS:Participants' age, level of perceived behavioral control, and choice of interaction (ie, phone-based or email-based coaching) were found to influence retention in this online-based program.
- Mapping mHealth Research: A Decade of Evolution. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e95.
BACKGROUND:For the last decade, mHealth has constantly expanded as a part of eHealth. Mobile applications for health have the potential to target heterogeneous audiences and address specific needs in different situations, with diverse outcomes, and to complement highly developed health care technologies. The market is rapidly evolving, making countless new mobile technologies potentially available to the health care system; however, systematic research on the impact of these technologies on health outcomes remains scarce.
OBJECTIVE:To provide a comprehensive view of the field of mHealth research to date and to understand whether and how the new generation of smartphones has triggered research, since their introduction 5 years ago. Specifically, we focused on studies aiming to evaluate the impact of mobile phones on health, and we sought to identify the main areas of health care delivery where mobile technologies can have an impact.
METHODS:A systematic literature review was conducted on the impact of mobile phones and smartphones in health care. Abstracts and articles were categorized using typologies that were partly adapted from existing literature and partly created inductively from publications included in the review.
RESULTS:The final sample consisted of 117 articles published between 2002 and 2012. The majority of them were published in the second half of our observation period, with a clear upsurge between 2007 and 2008, when the number of articles almost doubled. The articles were published in 77 different journals, mostly from the field of medicine or technology and medicine. Although the range of health conditions addressed was very wide, a clear focus on chronic conditions was noted. The research methodology of these studies was mostly clinical trials and pilot studies, but new designs were introduced in the second half of our observation period. The size of the samples drawn to test mobile health applications also increased over time. The majority of the studies tested basic mobile phone features (eg, text messaging), while only a few assessed the impact of smartphone apps. Regarding the investigated outcomes, we observed a shift from assessment of the technology itself to assessment of its impact. The outcome measures used in the studies were mostly clinical, including both self-reported and objective measures.
CONCLUSIONS:Research interest in mHealth is growing, together with an increasing complexity in research designs and aim specifications, as well as a diversification of the impact areas. However, new opportunities offered by new mobile technologies do not seem to have been explored thus far. Mapping the evolution of the field allows a better understanding of its strengths and weaknesses and can inform future developments.
- Crowdsourcing a normative natural language dataset: a comparison of Amazon mechanical turk and in-lab data collection. [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e100.
Crowdsourcing has become a valuable method for collecting medical research data. This approach, recruiting through open calls on the Web, is particularly useful for assembling large normative datasets. However, it is not known how natural language datasets collected over the Web differ from those collected under controlled laboratory conditions.To compare the natural language responses obtained from a crowdsourced sample of participants with responses collected in a conventional laboratory setting from participants recruited according to specific age and gender criteria.We collected natural language descriptions of 200 half-minute movie clips, from Amazon Mechanical Turk workers (crowdsourced) and 60 participants recruited from the community (lab-sourced). Crowdsourced participants responded to as many clips as they wanted and typed their responses, whereas lab-sourced participants gave spoken responses to 40 clips, and their responses were transcribed. The content of the responses was evaluated using a take-one-out procedure, which compared responses to other responses to the same clip and to other clips, with a comparison of the average number of shared words.In contrast to the 13 months of recruiting that was required to collect normative data from 60 lab-sourced participants (with specific demographic characteristics), only 34 days were needed to collect normative data from 99 crowdsourced participants (contributing a median of 22 responses). The majority of crowdsourced workers were female, and the median age was 35 years, lower than the lab-sourced median of 62 years but similar to the median age of the US population. The responses contributed by the crowdsourced participants were longer on average, that is, 33 words compared to 28 words (P<.001), and they used a less varied vocabulary. However, there was strong similarity in the words used to describe a particular clip between the two datasets, as a cross-dataset count of shared words showed (P<.001). Within both datasets, responses contained substantial relevant content, with more words in common with responses to the same clip than to other clips (P<.001). There was evidence that responses from female and older crowdsourced participants had more shared words (P=.004 and .01 respectively), whereas younger participants had higher numbers of shared words in the lab-sourced population (P=.01).Crowdsourcing is an effective approach to quickly and economically collect a large reliable dataset of normative natural language responses.
- Online social network use by health care providers in a high traffic patient care environment. [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e94.
The majority of workers, regardless of age or occupational status, report engaging in personal Internet use in the workplace. There is little understanding of the impact that personal Internet use may have on patient care in acute clinical settings.The objective of this study was to investigate the volume of one form of personal Internet use-online social networking (Facebook)-generated by workstations in the emergency department (ED) in contrast to measures of clinical volume and severity.The research team analyzed anonymous network utilization records for 68 workstations located in the emergency medicine department within one academic medical center for 15 consecutive days (12/29/2009 to 1/12/2010). This data was compared to ED work index (EDWIN) data derived by the hospital information systems.Health care workers spent an accumulated 4349 minutes (72.5 hours) browsing Facebook, staff cumulatively visited Facebook 9369 times and spent, on average, 12.0 minutes per hour browsing Facebook. There was a statistically significant difference in the time spent on Facebook according to time of day (19.8 minutes per hour versus 4.3 minutes per hour, P<.001). There was a significant, positive correlation between EDWIN scores and time spent on Facebook (r=.266, P<.001).Facebook use constituted a substantive percentage of staff time during the 15-day observation period. Facebook use increased with increased patient volume and severity within the ED.
- Internet use among older adults: association with health needs, psychological capital, and social capital. [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e97.
Previous studies have identified socioeconomic status and health status as predictors of older adults' computer and Internet use, but researchers have not examined the relationships between older adults' health needs and psychological capital (emotional well-being and self-efficacy) and social capital (social integration/ties and support networks) to different types of Internet use.This study examined (1) whether older adults' health conditions and psychological and social capital differentiate Internet users from nonusers, and (2) whether the Internet users differed in their types of Internet use on the basis of their health conditions and psychological and social capital.Data for this study came from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, which is based on a nationally representative sample of US Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older. The sample for this study were those who resided in the community in their own or others' homes (N=6680). Binary logistic regression analysis was used to compare health needs, psychological capital, and social capital among (1) any type of Internet users and nonusers, (2) Internet users who engaged in health-related tasks and Internet users who did not, (3) Internet users who engaged in shopping/banking tasks and Internet users who did not, and (4) Internet users only used the Internet for email/texting and all other Internet users.Depressive and anxiety symptoms, measures of psychological capital, were negatively associated with Internet use among older adults (odds ratio [OR] 0.83, 95% CI 0.70-0.98, P=.03 and OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.65-0.97, P=.03, respectively), whereas most measures of social capital were positively associated with Internet use. Having more chronic medical conditions and engaging in formal volunteering increased the odds of Internet use for health-related tasks by 1.15 (95% CI 1.08-1.23, P<.001) and 1.28 (95% CI 1.05-1.57, P=.02), respectively, but anxiety symptoms decreased the odds (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.55-0.99, P=.05). Religious service attendance was negatively associated with Internet use for shopping/banking activities (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.62-0.91, P=.01). Anxiety symptoms increased the odds of using the Internet only for emails/texting (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.12-2.75, P=.02), but formal volunteering decreased the odds (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.43-0.92, P=.02). Other correlates of Internet use solely for emails/texting were older age (80-84 years and ≥85 years), a black or "other" racial/ethnic background, a high school education or less than high school, and lower income.The findings point to the importance of social capital in facilitating older adults' learning and adoption of Internet technology. Older adults who used the Internet for email/texting purposes only were the most socially and economically disadvantaged group of Internet users. Computer/Internet training for older adults and computer/Internet use for various purposes need to consider the significant role their social capital can play.
- Evaluation of a web-based social network electronic game in enhancing mental health literacy for young people. [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e80.
Internet-based learning programs provide people with massive health care information and self-help guidelines on improving their health. The advent of Web 2.0 and social networks renders significant flexibility to embedding highly interactive components, such as games, to foster learning processes. The effectiveness of game-based learning on social networks has not yet been fully evaluated.The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a fully automated, Web-based, social network electronic game on enhancing mental health knowledge and problem-solving skills of young people. We investigated potential motivational constructs directly affecting the learning outcome. Gender differences in learning outcome and motivation were also examined.A pre/posttest design was used to evaluate the fully automated Web-based intervention. Participants, recruited from a closed online user group, self-assessed their mental health literacy and motivational constructs before and after completing the game within a 3-week period. The electronic game was designed according to cognitive-behavioral approaches. Completers and intent-to-treat analyses, using multiple imputation for missing data, were performed. Regression analysis with backward selection was employed when examining the relationship between knowledge enhancement and motivational constructs.The sample included 73 undergraduates (42 females) for completers analysis. The gaming approach was effective in enhancing young people's mental health literacy (d=0.65). The finding was also consistent with the intent-to-treat analysis, which included 127 undergraduates (75 females). No gender differences were found in learning outcome (P=.97). Intrinsic goal orientation was the primary factor in learning motivation, whereas test anxiety was successfully alleviated in the game setting. No gender differences were found on any learning motivation subscales (P>.10). We also found that participants' self-efficacy for learning and performance, as well as test anxiety, significantly affected their learning outcomes, whereas other motivational subscales were statistically nonsignificant.Electronic games implemented through social networking sites appear to effectively enhance users' mental health literacy.
- Internet-delivered interpersonal psychotherapy versus internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for adults with depressive symptoms: randomized controlled noninferiority trial. [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e82.
Face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both effective treatments for depressive disorders, but access is limited. Online CBT interventions have demonstrated efficacy in decreasing depressive symptoms and can facilitate the dissemination of therapies among the public. However, the efficacy of Internet-delivered IPT is as yet unknown.This study examines whether IPT is effective, noninferior to, and as feasible as CBT when delivered online to spontaneous visitors of an online therapy website.An automated, 3-arm, fully self-guided, online noninferiority trial compared 2 new treatments (IPT: n=620; CBT: n=610) to an active control treatment (MoodGYM: n=613) over a 4-week period in the general population. Outcomes were assessed using online self-report questionnaires, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D) and the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8) completed immediately following treatment (posttest) and at 6-month follow-up.Completers analyses showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms at posttest and follow-up for both CBT and IPT, and were noninferior to MoodGYM. Within-group effect sizes were medium to large for all groups. There were no differences in clinical significant change between the programs. Reliable change was shown at posttest and follow-up for all programs, with consistently higher rates for CBT. Participants allocated to IPT showed significantly lower treatment satisfaction compared to CBT and MoodGYM. There was a dropout rate of 1294/1843 (70%) at posttest, highest for MoodGYM. Intention-to-treat analyses confirmed these findings.Despite a high dropout rate and lower satisfaction scores, this study suggests that Internet-delivered self-guided IPT is effective in reducing depressive symptoms, and may be noninferior to MoodGYM. The completion rates of IPT and CBT were higher than MoodGYM, indicating some progress in refining Internet-based self-help. Internet-delivered treatment options available for people suffering from depression now include IPT.International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 69603913; http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN69603913 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6FjMhmE1o).
- Perceptions of family physician trainees and trainers regarding the usefulness of a virtual community of practice. [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e92.
Training for Australian general practice, or family medicine, can be isolating, with registrars (residents or trainees) moving between rural and urban environments, and between hospital and community clinic posts. Virtual communities of practice (VCoPs), groups of people sharing knowledge about their domain of practice online and face-to-face, may have a role in overcoming the isolation associated with general practice training.This study explored whether Australian general practice registrars and their supervisors (trainers) would be able to use, and would be interested in using, a VCoP in the form of a private online network for work and training purposes. It also sought to understand the facilitators and barriers to intention to use such a community, and considers whether any of these factors may be modifiable.A survey was developed assessing computer, Internet, and social media access and usage, confidence, perceived usefulness, and barriers, facilitators, and intentions to use a private online network for training purposes. The survey was sent by email link to all 139 registrars and 224 supervisors in one of Australia's 17 general practice training regions. Complete and usable responses were received from 131 participants (response rate=0.4).Most respondents had access to broadband at home (125/131, 95.4%) and at work (130/131, 99.2%). Registrars were more likely to spend more than 2 hours on the Internet (P=.03), and to use social media sites for nonwork purposes (P=.01). On a 5-point Likert scale, confidence was high (mean 3.93, SD 0.63) and was negatively associated with higher age (P=.04), but not associated with training stage. Social media confidence was lower, with registrars more confident than supervisors for almost all social media activities. On a 5-point Likert scale, overall usefulness was scored positively (n=123, mean 3.63, SD 0.74), and was not significantly associated with age or training level. The main concerns of respondents were worries about privacy (registrar: 61/81, 75.3%; supervisor: 30/50, 60.0%) and insufficient time (registrar: 41/81, 50.6%; supervisor: 36/50, 72.0%). Using a multivariate generalized linear regression model, training stage and perceived usefulness were positively predictive, and concerns about privacy and time were negatively predictive of intention to use a private online network.General practice registrars and supervisors are interested in using a private online network, or VCoP, for work and training purposes. Important considerations are the extent to which concerns such as privacy and usefulness may be overcome by training and support to offset some other concerns, such as time barriers. Participants at an early stage in their training are more receptive to using an online network. More senior registrars and supervisors may benefit from more training and promotion of the online network to improve their receptiveness.
- Internet access and use in adults with hearing loss. [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e91.
The future rehabilitation of adults with hearing loss is likely to involve online tools used by individuals at home. Online tools could also be useful for people who are not seeking professional help for their hearing problems. Hearing impairment is a disability that increases with age, and increased age is still associated with reduced use of the Internet. Therefore, to continue the research on online audiological rehabilitative tools for people with hearing loss, it is important to determine if and to what extent adults with hearing loss use the Internet.To evaluate the use of the Internet and email in a group of adults with hearing loss and to investigate if their use of Internet and email differed between genders, among different age groups, and how it compared with the general population in Sweden.Questionnaires containing multiple-choice questions about Internet access, email use, and educational level were mailed to individuals with hearing loss, who were registered as patients at a hearing aid clinic. Out of the 269 invited participants, 158 returned a completed questionnaire, which was a response rate of 58.7%.The results showed that 60% (94/158) of the participants with hearing loss used computers and the Internet. The degree of hearing loss in the group of participants did not explain the level of Internet usage, while factors of age, gender, and education did (P<.001). More men than women used the Internet (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.32-4.91, P<.001). Use of the Internet was higher in the youngest age group (25-64 years) compared to the oldest age group (75-96 years, P=.001). A higher usage of the Internet was observed in the participants with hearing loss, especially the elderly, when compared with the general population of Sweden (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.23-3.17, P=.04).We conclude that the use of computers and the Internet overall is at least at the same level for people with hearing loss as for the general age-matched population in Sweden, but that this use is even higher in specific age groups. These results are important for the future work in developing and evaluating rehabilitative educational online tools for adults with hearing loss.
- Expectations of iPad Use in an Internal Medicine Residency Program: Is It Worth the "Hype"? [Journal Article]
- J Med Internet Res 2013; 15(5):e88.
While early reports highlight the benefits of tablet computing in hospitals, introducing any new technology can result in inflated expectations.The aim of the study is to compare anticipated expectations of Apple iPad use and perceptions after deployment among residents.115 internal medicine residents received Apple iPads in October 2010. Residents completed matched surveys on anticipated usage and perceptions after distribution 1 month prior and 4 months after deployment.In total, 99% (114/115) of residents responded. Prior to deployment, most residents believed that the iPad would improve patient care and efficiency on the wards; however, fewer residents "strongly agreed" after deployment (34% vs 15% for patient care, P<.001; 41% vs 24% for efficiency, P=.005). Residents with higher expectations were more likely to report using the iPad for placing orders post call and during admission (71% vs 44% post call, P=.01, and 16% vs 0% admission, P=.04). Previous Apple iOS product owners were also more likely to use the iPad in key areas. Overall, 84% of residents thought the iPad was a good investment for the residency program, and over half of residents (58%) reported that patients commented on the iPad in a positive way.While the use of tablets such as the iPad by residents is generally well received, high initial expectations highlight the danger of implementing new technologies. Education on the realistic expectations of iPad benefits may be warranted.