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A multidisciplinary journal that focuses on the intersection of public health and technology, public health informatics, mass media campaigns, surveillance, participatory epidemiology, and innovation in public health practice and research.
JMIR Public Health & Surveillance (JPHS, Editor-in-chief: Travis Sanchez, Emory University/Rollins School of Public Health) is a PubMed-indexed, peer-reviewed sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), the top cited journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2016: 5.175). JPH is a multidisciplinary journal with a unique focus on the intersection of innovation and technology in public health, and includes topics like health communication, public health informatics, surveillance, participatory epidemiology, infodemiology and infoveillance, digital disease detection, digital public health interventions, mass media/social media campaigns, and emerging population health analysis systems and tools.
We publish regular articles, reviews, protocols/system descriptions and viewpoint papers on all aspects of public health, with a focus on innovation and technology in public health.
Apart from publishing traditional public health research and viewpoint papers as well as reports from traditional surveillance systems, JPH was one of the first (if not the only) peer-reviewed journal which publishes papers with surveillance or pharmacovigilance data from non-traditional, unstructured big data and text sources such as social media and the Internet (infoveillance, digital disease detection), or reports on novel participatory epidemiology projects, where observations are solicited from the public.
Among other innovations, JPH is also dedicated to support rapid open data sharing and rapid open access to surveillance and outbreak data. As one of the novel features we plan to publish rapid or even real-time surveillance reports and open data. The methods and description of the surveillance system may be peer-reviewed and published only once in detail, in a "baseline report" (in a JMIR Res Protoc or a JMIR Public Health & Surveill paper), and authors then have the possibility to publish data and reports in frequent intervals rapidly and with only minimal additional peer-review (we call this article type "Rapid Surveillance Reports"). JMIR Publications may even work with authors/researchers and developers of selected surveillance systems on APIs for semi-automated reports (e.g. weekly reports to be automatically published in JPHS and indexed in PubMed, based on data-feeds from surveillance systems and minmal narratives and abstracts).
Furthermore, duing epidemics and public health emergencies, submissions with critical data will be processed with expedited peer-review to enable publication within days or even in real-time.
We also publish descriptions of open data resources and open source software. Where possible, we can and want to publish or even host the actual software or dataset on the journal website.
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Background: Influenzanet was launched in several European countries to monitor influenza-like illness during flu seasons with the help of volunteering participants and web-based technologies. As commo...
Background: Influenzanet was launched in several European countries to monitor influenza-like illness during flu seasons with the help of volunteering participants and web-based technologies. As commonly the case for developing fields, ethical approaches are not well developed in the collection, processing and analysis of participants’ information. Existing controversies and varying national ethical regulations can thus hamper efficient cross-border research collaboration to the detriment of quality disease surveillance. Objective: The objectives of this study were to characterize current practices on how ethico-legal and social issues (ELSI) pertinent to research ethics are being handled by different Influenzanet country groups, in order to analyze similarities and identify the need for further harmonization of ethical approaches. An ELSI analysis was carried out to suggest ways to strengthen these ethical approaches. Methods: A scoping literature search was carried out on PubMed, Web of Science, Global Digital Library on Ethics and BELIT to identify ELSI for Influenzanet country platforms. Only English-language articles were included, with publication dates from 2003 to 2017. Publications were screened for the application of four well-known bioethics principles in the implementation of country platforms. Additional publications gathered from the Influenzanet Consortium website were screened for ELSI. Country project leaders were contacted for additional information when necessary. Results: 66 and 28 articles were gathered from the literature search and from the Influenzanet website respectively. A total of 23 articles which mentioned ELSI were identified and included in the study. No article has addressed explicitly the ELSI of Influenzanet. Research Ethics Committee (REC) approvals were sought for recruiting participants and collecting their data in 8 out of 11 country platforms and informed e-consent was sought from participants in 10 out of 11 country platforms. Discrepancies between the implementation of informed e-consent and national legislations on privacy and data protection were found for the Danish and Dutch platforms. Personal data protection was ensured throughout the Consortium by data anonymization before processing and analysis, and the use of only aggregated data. Conclusions: Epidemics forecasting activities such as Influenzanet are beneficial. However, its benefits could be further increased through harmonization of data gathering and ethical requirements. This objective is achievable by the Consortium. In this regard, identifying and adopting the strictest ethical requirements used by one platform could help to reach consensus. Additionally, more transparency should be promoted concerning REC-approved research for Influenzanet-like systems. Validity of informed e-consent could also be increased through the provision of a user-friendly and standard information sheet across the Consortium where participants agree to its terms, conditions and privacy policies before being able to fill in the questionnaire. These will help to build trust in the general public while preventing any backdrop in participation, which might be triggered by mediatization and potential exaggeration of risks.
Background: Accurately identifying whether an individual's diet is in compliance with national nutritional guidelines requires the collection of a large amount of dietary data. A common method in publ...
Background: Accurately identifying whether an individual's diet is in compliance with national nutritional guidelines requires the collection of a large amount of dietary data. A common method in public health nutrition is to record every food consumed by an individual, down to an exact weight of the foods. A previous study used the data mining technique of decision trees to find which foods were needed to accurately identify whether individuals were in compliance with the five main guidelines (sodium, saturated fats, sugars, fruit/vegetables, fats). The study, performed in the United Kingdom, found that tracking only 3% of all foods was sufficient to accurately infer compliance. While the possibility of only tracking 3% of the items significantly reduces participation burden, this may be further reduced if items did not need to be weighted exactly. A further reduction in participation burden would lower the costs for monitoring public health nutrition, and may also lower the chance of errors as much less will be required from participants. Objective: We will assess whether national public health nutrition surveys can be further simplified by only recording whether a food was consumed, rather than having to weigh it. Methods: Our data comes from a generalized sample of inhabitants in the United Kingdom, specifically from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008-12. After simplifying food consumptions to a binary value (1 if an individual consumed a food and 0 otherwise), we built and optimized decision trees to find whether the foods could accurately predict compliance with the major five nutritional guidelines. Results: When using decision trees of a similar size to previous studies (i.e., involving as many foods), we were able to correctly infer compliance for the five guidelines with an average accuracy of 80.1%. This is an average increase of 2.5 percentage points over a previous study, showing that further simplifying the surveys can actually yield more robust estimates. When we allowed the new decision trees to use slightly more foods than in previous studies, we were able to optimize the performance with an average increase of 3.1 percentage points. Conclusions: While one may expect a further simplification of surveys to decrease accuracy, our study found that public health dietary surveys can be significantly simplified (from accurately weighing items to simply checking whether they were consumed) while improving accuracy. One possibility is that the simplification reduced noise, and made it easier for patterns to emerge. Using simplified surveys will allow to monitor public health nutrition in a more cost-effective manner, and possibly decrease the number of errors as participation burden is significantly reduced.
Background: The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) comprises >150 general practices, with a combined population of >1.5 million, contributing to UK an...
Background: The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) comprises >150 general practices, with a combined population of >1.5 million, contributing to UK and European public health surveillance and research. Objective: To report gender differences in the presentation of infectious and respiratory conditions in children and young adults Methods: Disease incidence data testing the hypothesis that boys up to puberty present more with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) and asthma. Incidence rates were reported for infectious conditions in children and young adults, by gender. We controlled for ethnicity, deprivation, and consultation rates. We report odds ratios (OR) with 95%CI, p-values and probability of presenting. Results: Boys presented more with LRTI, largely due to acute bronchitis. The OR of males consulting was greater across the youngest three age bands (OR 1.59 95%CI 1.35-1.87; OR 1.13 95%CI 1.05-1.21; OR 1.20 95% CI 1.09-1.32). Allergic rhinitis and asthma had a higher OR of presenting in 5-14 year old boys (OR 1.52 95%CI 1.37-1.68; OR 1.31, 95%CI 1.17-1.48). Upper respiratory infection (URTI) and urinary tract infection (UTI) had lower odds of presenting in boys, especially over 15years old. The probability of presenting showed different patterns for LRTI, URTI and atopic conditions. Conclusions: Boys under 15 years old have greater odds of presenting with LRTI and atopic conditions; whereas girls may present more with URTI and UTI. These differences may provide insights into disease mechanisms and for health service planning. Clinical Trial: Not applicable
Background: In Ethiopia, evidences show that there are about 140 harmful traditional practices affecting mothers and children. Knowledge of the spatial distribution and characteristics of harmful trad...
Background: In Ethiopia, evidences show that there are about 140 harmful traditional practices affecting mothers and children. Knowledge of the spatial distribution and characteristics of harmful traditional practices are important for planning effective mitigation activities. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify spatial variations of harmful traditional practices and associated factors among children under age of 5 years at Dabat health and demographic surveillance site (HDSS), in northwest Ethiopia. Methods: A total of 7240 under five children on follow-up in Dabat Health and demographic surveillance site were included in the study. A spatial scan test using SaTScan Version 9.4 was used to identify spatial clusters of harmful traditional practice using a Bernoulli probability model. Results: Nine from ten mothers reported at least one harmful traditional practice on their children. Of harmful traditional practice, Uvelectomy (83.6%) accounted the highest. The frequent practice was found high at Arebur (93%) and Doka (95%) Kebeles. Nine most likely clusters (LLR=17.3, p = .002) of harmful traditional practice were identified. Age and educational level of mothers, access to television and tel-ephone of the household were significantly associated with occurrence of HTPs on children before age of five years. Conclusions: In this study we found out that harmful traditional practice remains one of the major public health problem and have spatial variations in rural community. The younger aged and less educated mothers, and no access to television and telephone in the household were significant predictors of harmful tradi-tional practices to be undergone on children.