JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
A multidisciplinary journal that focuses on 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 (JPH, Editor-in-chief: Patrick Sullivan, Emory University/Rollins School of Public Health) is a new sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), the top cited journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2015: 4.532). JPH is a multidisciplinary journal that focuses on 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.
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.
Nov 28, 2016
Nov 25, 2016
Nov 22, 2016
Nov 18, 2016
Nov 9, 2016
Oct 24, 2016
Oct 20, 2016
Oct 18, 2016
Oct 17, 2016
Oct 13, 2016
Oct 12, 2016
Oct 11, 2016
Citing this Article
Right click to copy or hit: ctrl+c (cmd+c on mac)
Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:View All Open Peer Review Articles
Effect of viewing smoking scenes in motion pictures on audiences' subsequent smoking desire in South Korea
Date Submitted: Dec 2, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Dec 2, 2016 - Dec 16, 2016
Background: Even though movies constitute a medium transmitted and distributed worldwide, smoking scenes in movies are relatively free from public health monitoring. The effect of smoking scenes in mo...
Background: Even though movies constitute a medium transmitted and distributed worldwide, smoking scenes in movies are relatively free from public health monitoring. The effect of smoking scenes in movies in promoting viewers’ smoking desire remains unknown. Objective: We explored whether exposure of adolescent smokers to images of smoking in fılms could stimulate smoking behavior. Methods: Data used for this study were derived from a survey of respondents using a nationally representative online sample of Korean high school students (N=748). Participants who were aged 16-18 years were randomly assigned to watch three short video clips with or without smoking scenes. After adjusting covariates using propensity score matching, we conducted paired sample t-test and logistic regression to compare the difference in smoking desire before and after exposure of participants to smoking scenes. Results: In the case of male adolescents, cigarette craving was significantly higher in the experimental group with exposure to smoking scenes than that in the control group without exposure to smoking scenes (t = 2.066, p < 0.05). After adjusting covariates, more impulsive adolescents had significantly higher cigarette cravings (aOR = 3.40, 95% CI: 1.40 - 8.23). However, the group who actively sought health information had considerably lower cigarette cravings than the group who did not engage in such information-seeking (aOR = 0.08, 95% CI: 0.01 - 0.88). Conclusions: Smoking scenes in motion pictures can initiate adolescent smoking behavior. Therefore, establishing a standard that restricts the frequency of smoking scenes in films and assigning smoking-related screening grade to films are warranted. Clinical Trial: N/A
Using Facebook Advertisements to Collect Data from Cannabis Users
Date Submitted: Nov 28, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Dec 1, 2016 - Dec 15, 2016
Background: The legal landscape surrounding cannabis use is changing quickly. In turn, alternative administration methods like vaporizers and edibles are becoming increasingly popular. This state of f...
Background: The legal landscape surrounding cannabis use is changing quickly. In turn, alternative administration methods like vaporizers and edibles are becoming increasingly popular. This state of flux requires quick and flexible research methods to perform repeated rapid surveillance that can inform regulatory and public health policies. Social media services like Facebook with associated targeted advertisement platforms can serve as the next generation of behavioral health and epidemiological research tools by providing researchers with access to convenient and inexpensive survey data from a diverse and representative global population. Objective: This study provides an illustration of how Facebook advertisements can be used to expeditiously collect survey data from cannabis users in a cost effective manner. Further, we describe the basic characteristics of cannabis users recruited with Facebook advertisements, discussing sampling strategy issues. Methods: Facebook advertisements were distributed to Americans 18 years of age and older who endorsed pro-cannabis or related interests on Facebook. The advertisements promoted a web link to an online survey on cannabis use. Two types of advertisement campaigns were conducted: one with no demographic filters other than a minimum age requirement and another that partially restricted delivery to racial minority participants to encourage sufficient representation. Results: Advertisements were shown to 168,894 people within a larger population of approximately 21,000,000, resulting in 3,892 clicks to the survey. The final sample size, N = 2,932, included only those that passed a data quality check, resulting in a cost of $0.27 per participant who completed the survey. Users reported initiating cannabis use at M = 15.7 years old, with a large proportion of participants (40%) currently using cannabis daily. Response rates were distributed across states at rates consistent with population levels from the 2014 US census. Restricting advertisements to minorities was an effective strategy for oversampling, increasing representation by 18.9%. Conclusions: Diverse and representative samples of cannabis users can be efficiently recruited with Facebook advertisements. Social media platforms ameliorate time and geographical constraints allowing researchers to survey collect data from thousands of respondents in a short time frame on a modest budget, allowing for rapid and repeated surveillance. Future work is needed to investigate the nuances of this sampling strategy to delineate best methods that ensure representativeness.
Body Weight Misperception and Dissatisfaction Among Overweight and Obese Adult Nigerians
Date Submitted: Nov 25, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 28, 2016 - Dec 12, 2016
Background: ABSTRACT: The increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in low/medium income countries has negative impact on the overall health of the populace as well as acting as socioeconom...
Background: ABSTRACT: The increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in low/medium income countries has negative impact on the overall health of the populace as well as acting as socioeconomic and health burden. Correct perception of one’s body weight is a step in seeking healthy help towards weight reduction in overweight/obese individuals. This study was carried out to assess the body weight misperception and dissatisfaction among overweight and obese adults in an urban African setting. Designs: This study was a part of larger cross-sectional study that was designed to plan an intervention for overweight and obese adults in a urban African setting. For this study, only overweight and obese adults who consented to participate. Objective: This study was carried out to assess the body weight misperception and dissatisfaction among overweight and obese adults in an urban African setting. Methods: This study was a part of larger cross-sectional study that was designed to plan an intervention for overweight and obese adults in a urban African setting. For this study, only overweight and obese adults who consented to participate in the study were randomly selected from 15 enumeration areas in Alimosho Local Government area of Lagos State, Nigeria. The WHO guidelines for conducting community survey protocols were employed in recruiting the overweight/obese participants. Body weight perception and dissatisfaction were assessed through two questions: how do you describe your weight? I feel bad about my weight. Results: More than half (53.62%) of the participants misperceived their weight as either underweight or normal weight of which 61.2% were females. The strength of agreement between the actual BMI and weight perception was very poor (Kappa= 0.032, SE=0.015, p=0.037). The strongest predictor of weight perception was gender (male) with odds ratio of 1.63 (CI=1.13-2.35). About 15.7% of the participants were dissatisfied with their weight of which 83.1% were males. Age (young adult) was a predictor of weight dissatisfaction with odds ratio of 2.37 (CI=1.62-3.46). Conclusions: More than half of the participants misperceived their body weight as either underweight or normal weight and majority of them were females. More males were not happy with their body weight and participant within the young adult age group were more dissatisfied with their body weight. Clinical Trial: LREC/10/06/261
Evaluating the factors associated with patients’ discussion with their physician about the risks of prescription opioid use in Maryland
Date Submitted: Nov 13, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 25, 2016 - Dec 9, 2016
Background: Opioid abuse and misuse is a major public health concern. Although opioid use is appropriate at the beginning, the quantity and duration of prescription leads to misuse among diverse patie...
Background: Opioid abuse and misuse is a major public health concern. Although opioid use is appropriate at the beginning, the quantity and duration of prescription leads to misuse among diverse patients sub-groups. Primary care remains at the forefront of chronic pain management and is the largest group of prescribers. Therefore, in the face of rising prescriptions in the last few years, the communication between the healthcare provider and patient about risk of opioids is critical for reducing misuse. Objective: This study describes if the patients in Maryland know about the risks associated with prescription opioid (PO) misuse from their physicians and discusses potential rescue plan. Methods: Data was collected from the Maryland Public Opinion Survey (MPOS), a web-based survey administered to patients over 24 jurisdictions in Maryland. We utilized Facebook to recruit our study population. Our question of interest was, “Have you ever had a talk with your doctor about the risks of taking prescription opioids?” We studied the association between the demographic characteristics of the respondents to the above question and their response using chi-square and multivariable logistic regression model. Results: Of 6623 responders to the MPOS, n=3259 responded to the question about discussing PO risks with their providers. The responder’s gender, race and their neighborhood in Maryland, were not associated with their propensity to discuss PO risks with providers. Patients who were significantly more likely to discuss PO risks with provider were, those who have ever used PO without doctor’s permission (OR=1.49, CI (1.24, 1.79)) and heroin (OR=2.21; CI (1.68, 2.91)), and not finished a college education (OR=1.2; CI (1.01, 2.78)). Conclusions: There exists a major gap among patient-provider communication as patients with a prior history of drug misuse or abuse only were more likely to discuss PO risks with their provider. Therefore, effective provider communication and educational approaches with concurrent evaluation would be essential to the intervention framework designed to reduce PO misuse and abuse.
Effect of mobile phone text messages reminders on uptake of routine immunization in Pakistan- A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
Date Submitted: Nov 21, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 24, 2016 - Dec 8, 2016
Background: Improved routine immunization (RI) coverage is recommended as the priority public health strategy to decrease vaccine-preventable diseases and eradicate polio in Pakistan and worldwide. Ob...
Background: Improved routine immunization (RI) coverage is recommended as the priority public health strategy to decrease vaccine-preventable diseases and eradicate polio in Pakistan and worldwide. Objective: We aimed to ascertain whether customized automated one-way short message service (SMS) reminders to the caregivers delivered via mobile phones could improve routine immunization coverage in Pakistan. Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial, conducted in an urban squatter settlement area of Karachi, Pakistan. Three hundred infants less than two weeks of age were enrolled and participants were randomized to the intervention (standard care + one way SMS reminder) or control (standard care) groups. The primary outcome was to compare the proportion of children immunized up to date at 18 weeks of age. Results: The participation rate was 84% (300/ 356); 94% of the participants had a working mobile phone and out of this 99%showed willingness to receive text reminders for immunization. Only 6% of the participants in intervention arm reported not receiving SMS. Children in the intervention arm who received SMS reminder had a non-significant higher percentage of vaccine visit completion at all three scheduled visits. Visit 1 at 6 weeks (76% versus 71%, p=0.36); visit 2 at 10 weeks (59% versus 53%, p=0.30) and visit 3 at 14 weeks (31% versus 26%, p=0.31). Conclusions: Automated simple one-way SMS reminders in local languages might be feasible for improving routine vaccination coverage. We did not find a statistically significant difference for higher immunization coverage in the intervention arm. Whether SMS reminders alone can alter parental attitudes and behavior needs to be evaluated by better-powered studies and comparing different types and content of text messages in LMICs settings. Clinical Trial: Trial Registration Number: Clinical Trial.Gov, registration number was NCT01859546. Registered 14th May 2013
The effectiveness of Facebook’s advertising channel: A case for communicating the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy in New Zealand
Date Submitted: Nov 21, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 24, 2016 - Dec 8, 2016
Background: Social media is gaining recognition for communicating public health messages. One area attracting attention is Facebook’s advertising channel. This channel has a wide reach and user enga...
Background: Social media is gaining recognition for communicating public health messages. One area attracting attention is Facebook’s advertising channel. This channel has a wide reach and user engagement with disseminated campaign materials is impressive . However, to date, there are no study undertaken that has examined the effectiveness of the communication. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate how effective Facebook’s advertising channel is as a mode for communicating public health messages. Methods: This study investigated a New Zealand public health campaign called Don’t Know? Don’t Drink, which warned against drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The campaign conveyed the warning through a video and three banner ads delivered as newsfeeds to women aged 18–30 years. This current study examined user engagement for the video and banner ads based on metadata provided by Facebook. The comments generated by the campaign materials were analysed using text mining. The relationship between the themes identified and the message was investigated using predictive modelling and sentiment analysis. Results: The user engagement was impressive with the video receiving 203,754 views and the combined Likes and Shares for the promotional materials amounting to 6125 and 300 respectively. Thematic analysis performed on the comments ( n=819) using text mining identified four themes. Logistic regression showed that two of the themes (Risk of Pregnancy and Alcohol and Culture) exhibited predictability (probability of 0.69). The sentimental analysis carried out on the two themes revealed that 72% of the comments (negative and neutral comments) did not evoke a favourable response. Conclusions: The user engagement observed in this study was consistent with previous research. The comment-based evaluation revealed the message was not accepted by a vast majority of the women who commented. Negative comments could provide further opportunities to engage with these women. However, the one-way communication format used by Facebook’s advertising channel prevents this from happening. Further investigation is warranted to confirm whether reciprocating to clarify or provide additional information could produce a different outcome. Until such an investigation occurs, this study cautions against using a one-way communication format to convey public health messages via Facebook’s advertising channel. Clinical Trial: N/A