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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: Demographic surveillance platforms play a vital role in assessing the effects that disease has on a population, and the resulting impact of subsequent healthcare interventions. Population...
Background: Demographic surveillance platforms play a vital role in assessing the effects that disease has on a population, and the resulting impact of subsequent healthcare interventions. Population surveillance sites generate many datasets relevant to disease surveillance, however there is a risk that this data is under-utilised, misunderstood or not acted on in a timely manner due to the volume of data captured. Data visualisation offers stakeholders a means to quickly understand and interpret collected data. Objective: This paper describes the development and evaluation of dashboard to visualise trial to staff and researchers at a demographic surveillance site and investigate the role that visualisation could play increasing the visibility and understanding of datasets produced therein. Methods: This paper presents the development of a dashboard for visualising data generated within, a demographic surveillance platform at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), in KwaZulu-Natal., South Africa. An evaluation study was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the dashboards as a data dissemination tool. A mixed-methods approach combined benchmark task evaluation to assess usability with a questionnaire to study attitudes to the use of dashboards. The evaluation was recruited 20 participants drawn from scientific, operational nursing and community advisory staff working at AHRI. Results: The results of the questionnaire showed that the majority of respondents felt that the dashboards provided a clear understanding of the results of the trial presented and would like to see the use of dashboards within the research centre to disseminate results. The evaluation demonstrated high usability for the dashboard across the study groups with scientific and operational staff having minimal issues in completing the tasks outlined. There were notable differences in the efficiency of task completion among different groups of respondents, indicating varying familiarity with data visualisation interfaces. Conclusions: The paper has demonstrated the viability of data visualisation dashboards as a means of increasing the visibility and access to datasets at a population surveillance site. The usability differences between the different groups demonstrates the need for user-led design of dashboards in future, addressing varying computer and visualisation literacy’s present among user groups.
The American Men’s Internet Survey (AMIS) is an annual Web-based behavioral survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) living in the United States. This Rapid Surveillance Report describes the fourth...
The American Men’s Internet Survey (AMIS) is an annual Web-based behavioral survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) living in the United States. This Rapid Surveillance Report describes the fourth cycle of data collection (September 2016 through February 2017; AMIS-2016). The key indicators are the same as previously reported for AMIS (December 2013 through May 2014, AMIS-2013; November 2014 through April 2015, AMIS-2014; September 2015 through April 2016; AMIS-2015). The AMIS survey methodology has not substantively changed since AMIS-2015. MSM were recruited from a variety of websites using banner advertisements and email blasts. Additionally, participants from AMIS-2015 who agreed to be recontacted for future research were emailed a link to the AMIS-2016 survey. Men were eligible to participate if they were 15 years old and over, resided in the United States, provided a valid US ZIP code and reported ever having sex with a man or identified as gay or bisexual. We examined demographic and recruitment characteristics using multivariable regression modeling (P<.05) stratified by participants’ self-reported human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status. The AMIS-2016 round of data collection resulted in 10,166 completed surveys from MSM representing every US state, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. Participants were mainly non-Hispanic white, over the age of 40, living in the US South, living in urban areas and recruited from general social networking websites. Self-reported HIV prevalence was 10.80% (1098/10,166). Compared to HIV-negative/unknown status participants, HIV-positive participants were more likely to have had anal sex without a condom with any male partner in the past 12 months (75.77% vs 65.88%, P<.001) and more likely to have had anal sex without a condom with a serodiscordant or unknown status partner (33.24% vs 16.06%, P<.001). The reported use of marijuana and other illicit substances in the past 12 months was higher among HIV-positive participants than HIV-negative/unknown status participants (28.05% vs 24.99% and 28.14% vs 18.46%, respectively; both P<.001). Most (79.93%, 7248/9068) HIV-negative/unknown status participants reported ever having a previous HIV test, and 56.45% (5119/9068) reported HIV testing in the past 12 months. HIV-positive participants were more likely to report sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and diagnosis compared to HIV-negative/unknown status participants (70.86% vs 40.13% and 24.04% vs 8.97%, respectively; both P<.001).
Background: Social media (SM) offers promise for communicating the risks and health effects of harmful products and behaviors, and thus for modifying health knowledge, attitudes and behavior. Nearly...
Background: Social media (SM) offers promise for communicating the risks and health effects of harmful products and behaviors, and thus for modifying health knowledge, attitudes and behavior. Nearly 70% of U.S. adults use some type of SM, which varies by factors such as age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Rigorous research across different SM types is vital to establish successful, evidence-based health communication strategies that meet the requirements of the evolving SM landscape and the needs of diverse populations. Objective: To develop and test the functional correctness of a software tool that automates aspects of production, distribution and assessment of SM messages to assess their influence on user engagement. Methods: The software tool enables six functions: (1) data import; (2) message generation deploying randomization techniques; (3) message distribution across SM; (4) import and analysis of message comments; (5) collection and display of message performance data; and (6) reporting based on a predetermined data dictionary. The application was built using three open source software products: PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails, and Semantic UI. To test the tool’s utility and reliability, we developed parameterized message templates (N=102) based upon two government-sponsored online tobacco education campaigns, extracted images from these campaigns and a free stock photo platform (N=315), and topic-related hashtags (N=4) from Twitter. We conducted a functional correctness analysis of the automatically generated SM messages: 100% correctness was defined as use of the message template text and substitution of three message parameters (i.e., image, hashtag, destination URL) without any error. Percent correct was calculated to determine the probability with which the tool generates accurate messages. Results: The tool generated, distributed and assessed 1,275 SM messages over the course of 85 days (April 19 to July 12, 2017). It correctly used the message template text and substituted the message parameters 100% of the time as verified by human reviewers and a custom algorithm using text search and attribute matching techniques. Conclusions: A software tool can effectively support the production, distribution, and assessment of hundreds of health promotion messages across different SM types with the highest degree of functional correctness and minimal human interaction. The tool has the potential to influence SM-driven health promotion research and practice: first, by enabling the assessment of large numbers of messages to develop evidence-based health communication approaches; and second, by providing public health groups with a technical framework to increase the output of health education messages to potentially counteract the growing prevalence of online marketing featuring products and behaviors harmful to health, e.g., tobacco products. We call on readers to use and further develop the software code and to contribute to evidence-based communication methods in the digital age.
Background: Female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women (TGW) are at high risk of acquiring HIV in many settings, such as Papua New Guinea (PNG). An understanding...
Background: Female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender women (TGW) are at high risk of acquiring HIV in many settings, such as Papua New Guinea (PNG). An understanding of the approximate size of these populations can inform resource allocation for HIV services for FSW, MSM, and TGW. Objective: An objective of this multi-site survey was to conduct updated population size estimations (PSE) of FSW and MSM/TGW. Methods: Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) biobehavioral surveys of FSW and MSM/TGW were conducted in three major cities: 1) Port Moresby, 2) Lae, and 3) Mt. Hagen between June 2016 and December 2017. Eligibility criteria for FSW included: age >=12 years, born female, could speak English or Tok Pisin (PNG Pidgin), and had sold or exchanged sex with a man in the past six months. Eligibility for MSM/TGW included: age >=12 years, born male, could speak English or Tok Pisin, and had engaged in oral or anal sex with another person born male in the past six months. PSE methods included unique object multiplier, service multiplier, and successive sampling using imputed visibility. Weighted data analyses were conducted using RDS-Analyst (v. 0.62) and Microsoft Excel (2016). Results: Sample sizes for FSW and MSM/TGW in Port Moresby, Lae, and Mt. Hagen included: 1) 673 and 400; 2) 709 and 352; and 3) 709 and 111 respectively. Keychains were used for the unique object multiplier method and were distributed one week prior to the start of each RDS survey. HIV service testing data were only available in Port Moresby and Mt. Hagen and successive sampling estimates were calculated for all cities. Due to limited service provider data and uncertain prior size estimation knowledge, unique object multiplier weighted estimations were chosen for estimates. In Port Moresby, we estimate that there are 16,053 (95% CI: 8,232-23,874) FSW and 7,487 (95% CI: 3,975-11,000) MSM/TGW. In Lae, we estimate that there are 6,105 (95% CI: 4,459-7,752) FSW and 4,669 (95% CI: 3,068-6,271) MSM/TGW. In Mt. Hagen, we estimate that there are 2,646 (95% CI: 1,655-3,638) FSW and 1,095 (95% CI: 913-1151) MSM/TGW using service multiplier and successive sampling, respectively. Conclusions: As the HIV epidemic in PNG rapidly evolves among KP, PSE should be repeated in order to produce up-to-date estimates for timely comparison and eventual trend analysis.
Background: The burden of HIV epidemic in Kosovo lies among the key populations (KPs) of FSWs, MSM and PWIDs. The available interventions for KPs are fragmented, lack sufficient and appropriate granul...
Background: The burden of HIV epidemic in Kosovo lies among the key populations (KPs) of FSWs, MSM and PWIDs. The available interventions for KPs are fragmented, lack sufficient and appropriate granularity of information needed to develop large scale outreach programs. Objective: We conducted this study to estimate the size and distribution of these populations to create evidence for developing action plans for HIV prevention. Methods: Programmatic mapping approach was used to collect systematic information from key informants including geographic and virtual locations in 26 municipalities of Kosovo. In Level 1, information was gathered about KPs numbers and locations through 1,537 key informant interviews within each municipality. Level 2 involved validating these spots by conducting another 976 interviews with KPs congregating at those spots. Population size estimates were calculated for each spot, and finally a National estimate was developed which was corrected for duplication and overlaps. Results: Of the estimated 6,814 MSM (6,445 to 7,117), nearly 4,940 operate through the internet owing to the large stigma and discrimination against same sex relationships. Geo-based MSM congregate at a few spots having large spot sizes (13.3 MSM/spot). Three-fourth of the MSM are distributed in five major municipalities. Fridays and Saturdays are the peak days of operation, however the number only increase by 5%. A significant number are involved in sex work i.e., provide sex to other men for money. PWID are largely geo-based; 4,973 (range; 3,932 to 6,015) PWID of the total number of 5,819 (range; 4,777 to 6,860) visit geographical spots with an average spot size of 7.1. In smaller municipalities, they mostly inject in residential locations. The numbers stay stable during the entire week and there are no peak days. Of the 5,037 (range; 4,213 to 5,860) FSW, 20% use cell phones while 10% use websites to connect with clients. The number increase by 25% on weekends, especially in larger municipalities where sex work is mostly concentrated. Other than a few street based spots, most spots are establishments run by pimps, which is reflective of the highly institutionalized, structured and organized FSW network. Conclusions: This study provides valuable information about the population size estimates as well as dynamics of each KP, which is the key to developing effective HIV prevention strategies. The information needs to be used to micro-plan and design plans to contact and provide effective outreach using information on how each KP operates within each typology.
Background: Standard programmatic mapping involves identifying locations where key populations meet, profiling of these locations (hotspots) and estimating the key population size. Information gained...
Background: Standard programmatic mapping involves identifying locations where key populations meet, profiling of these locations (hotspots) and estimating the key population size. Information gained from this method has been used for HIV programming – resource allocation, program planning, service delivery, and monitoring and evaluation – for people who inject drugs, men who has sex with men, and female sex workers (FSW). With an increasing focus on adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) as a priority population for HIV prevention, programs need to know where and how to effectively reach individuals that are at increased risk for HIV but were conventionally considered part of the general population. We hypothesize that AGYW who engage in transactional and casual sex also congregate at sex work hotspots to meet sex partners. Therefore, we adapted the standard programmatic mapping approach to understand the geographic distribution and population size of AGYW in Mombasa County, Kenya. Objective: The objectives are several-fold: (1) to detail and compare the modified programmatic mapping approach used in this study to the standard approach; (2) to estimate the number of young FSW; (3) to estimate the number of AGYW who congregate in sex work hotspots to meet sex partners other than clients; (4) to estimate the overlap in sexual network in hotspots; (5) to describe the distribution of sex work hotspots across Mombasa and its four sub-counties; and (6) to compare the distribution of hotspots that were known to the local HIV prevention program prior to this study and those newly identified. Methods: The standard programmatic mapping approach was modified to estimate the population of young women aged 14-24 years who visit sex work hotspots in Mombasa to meet partners for commercial, transactional and casual sex. Results: We estimated that there were 11,777 FSW (range 9,265-14,290) in Mombasa in 2014; among whom, 6,127 (52.0%) were 14-24 years old. The population estimate for women aged 14-24 years who engaged in transactional and casual sex and congregated at the hotspots were 5,348 (range 4,185-6,510) and 4,160 (range 3,194-5,125), respectively. Of the 1,025 validated sex work hotspots, 856 (83.5%) were locations also visited by women engaged in both transactional and casual sex. Only 48 (4.7%) hotspots were exclusive sex work locations. The geographic and typological distribution of hotspots were significantly different between the four sub-counties (P < .001). Of the 1,025 hotspots, 419 (40.9%) were already known to the local HIV prevention program and 606 (59.1%) were newly identified. Conclusions: Using the adapted programmatic mapping approach detailed in this study, our results show that HIV prevention programs tailored to AGYW can focus delivery of their interventions to traditional sex work hotspots to reach subgroups that may be at increased risk for HIV.