Maintenance Notice

Due to necessary scheduled maintenance, the JMIR Publications website will be unavailable from Monday, March 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM EST. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Who will be affected?


Journal Description


JMIR Research Protocols (ISSN 1929-0748) is a unique Pubmed-indexed journal, publishing peer-reviewed, openly accessible research ideas and grant proposals, study and trial protocols, reports of ongoing research, current methods and approaches, and preliminary results from pilot studies or formative research informing the design of medical and health-related research and technology innovations.

JMIR Res Protoc is a journal spin-off of JMIR, the worlds' leading medical journal in health sciences / health services research and health informatics (JMIR Impact Factor 2017: 4.671).

While the original focus was on eHealth studies, JMIR Res Protoc now publishes protocols and grant proposals in all areas of medicine (and their peer-review reports, if available), as well as feasibility studies, early reports and formative/process evaluations of ongoing studies and descriptions of the development and pilot evaluations of innovations and software applications or other interventions.

JMIR Res Protoc is fully open access, with full text articles deposited in PubMed Central.

Publishing research protocols, grant proposals, pilot/feasibility studies and early reports of ongoing and planned work encourages collaboration and early feedback, and reduces duplication of effort.

JRP is compatible with the concept of "Registered Reports" and since May 2018, published protocols receive a Registered Report Identifier (What is a Registered Report Identifier?) and acceptance of the subsequent results paper is "in principle" guaranteed in any JMIR journal and partner journals - see What is a Registered Report?

JMIR Res Protoc will be a valuable ressource for researchers who want to learn about current research methodologies and how to write a winning grant proposal.

JMIR Res Protoc creates an early scientific record for researchers who have developed novel methodologies, software, innovations or elaborate protocols.

JMIR Res Protoc provides a "dry-run" for peer-review of the final results paper, and allows feedback/critique of the methods, often while they still can be fixed.

JMIR Res Protoc faciliates subsequent publication of results demonstrating that the methodology has already been reviewed, and reduces the effort of writing up the results, as the protocol can be easily referenced.

JMIR Res Protoc demonstrates to reviewers of subsequent results papers that authors followed and adhered to carefully developed and described a-priori methods.

Studies whose protocols or grant proposal have been accepted in JMIR Res Protoc are "in principle accepted" for subsequent publication of results in other JMIR journals as long as authors adhere to their original protocol - regardless of study results (even if they are negative), reducing publication bias in medicine.

Authors publishing their protocols in JMIR Res Protoc will receive a 20% discount on the article processing fee if they publish their results in another journal of the JMIR journal family (for example, JMIR for ehealth studies, i-JMR for others).

JMIR Res Protoc is also a unique crowdfunding platform, allowing backers to crowdfund carefully peer-reviewed projects that are not junk-science, and giving researchers additional small funding to conduct and publish their research results. Each article is published with a crowdfunding widget, allowing readers to make nominal donations to the project, which benefit the authors (currently in beta).

Need more reasons? Read the Knowledge Base article on "Why should I publish my protocol/grant proposal"!


Recent Articles:

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Jeremy Brooks; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial (CC-BY-NC).

    Reducing Alcohol Consumption Among Risky Drinkers in the General Population of Sweden Using an Interactive Mobile Health Intervention: Protocol for a...


    Background: Harmful use of alcohol continues to be a leading contributor to premature deaths globally. Not only does harmful drinking have consequences for the individuals consuming at increased levels, but it may also result in a range of negative consequences for their family members and friends. Interventions delivered via mobile phones (mobile health [mHealth] interventions) could potentially support risky drinkers seeking help to reduce their alcohol consumption. Objective: This protocol describes a randomized controlled trial that aims to validly estimate the effect of a novel mHealth intervention targeting risky drinkers in the general population of Sweden. Nested within the trial are 3 substudies that focus on methodological and user satisfaction research questions. Methods: A 2-arm parallel group randomized controlled trial will be employed to estimate the effect of the novel intervention. Participants will be recruited through Web advertisements and social media. The inclusion criteria are as follows: 18 years or older, ownership of a mobile phone, and being classified as a risky drinker according to Swedish guidelines. Participants allocated to the intervention group will receive a novel mHealth intervention. The intervention consists of weekly screening, personalized feedback on current consumption, functions allowing for planning of future consumption, as well as a series of messages delivered throughout the week. Participants allocated to the control group will receive a short message regarding negative consequences of alcohol consumption and a hyperlink that offers more information. Following 2 and 4 months after randomization, both groups will be asked to complete follow-up questionnaires (2-month interval being primary). Primary outcomes are weekly alcohol consumption and heavy episodic drinking. Participants in the control group will be given access to the novel intervention after completing the 4-month follow-up. The trial includes 3 substudies: We will explore whether the mode of presenting information before participants giving informed consent affects participation rates and recall of trial parameters, investigate if the content of the short message received by the control group affects study outcomes and requests for more information, and explore user satisfaction with the intervention and reactions of the control group. Results: Participant recruitment is planned to begin in April 2019 and to last for a maximum of 24 months. The first dataset will be available approximately 2 months after the final participant has been recruited, and the final dataset will be available approximately 2 months later. No participants had been recruited at the time of submitting this protocol. Conclusions: If found effective, the intervention has the potential to reduce negative consequences of alcohol consumption for individuals. The technology has been designed to have potential for extensive reach among those who may benefit. Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN48317451; (Archived by WebCite at International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/13119

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Dignity Therapy Led by Nurses or Chaplains for Elderly Cancer Palliative Care Outpatients: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial


    Background: Our goal is to improve psychosocial and spiritual care outcomes for elderly patients with cancer by optimizing an intervention focused on dignity conservation tasks such as settling relationships, sharing words of love, and preparing a legacy document. These tasks are central needs for elderly patients with cancer. Dignity therapy (DT) has clear feasibility but inconsistent efficacy. DT could be led by nurses or chaplains, the 2 disciplines within palliative care that may be most available to provide this intervention; however, it remains unclear how best it can work in real-life settings. Objective: We propose a randomized clinical trial whose aims are to (1) compare groups receiving usual palliative care for elderly patients with cancer or usual palliative care with DT for effects on (a) patient outcomes (dignity impact, existential tasks, and cancer prognosis awareness); and (b) processes of delivering palliative spiritual care services (satisfaction and unmet spiritual needs); and (2) explore the influence of physical symptoms and spiritual distress on the outcome effects (dignity impact and existential tasks) of usual palliative care and nurse- or chaplain-led DT. We hypothesize that, controlling for pretest scores, each of the DT groups will have higher scores on the dignity impact and existential task measures than the usual care group; each of the DT groups will have better peaceful awareness and treatment preference more consistent with their cancer prognosis than the usual care group. We also hypothesize that physical symptoms and spiritual distress will significantly affect intervention effects. Methods: We are conducting a 3-arm, pre- and posttest, randomized, controlled 4-step, stepped-wedge design to compare the effects of usual outpatient palliative care and usual outpatient palliative care along with either nurse- or chaplain-led DT on patient outcomes (dignity impact, existential tasks, and cancer prognosis awareness). We will include 560 elderly patients with cancer from 6 outpatient palliative care services across the United States. Using multilevel analysis with site, provider (nurse, chaplain), and time (step) included in the model, we will compare usual care and DT groups for effects on patient outcomes and spiritual care processes and determine the moderating effects of physical symptoms and spiritual distress. Results: The funding was obtained in 2016, with participant enrollment starting in 2017. Results are expected in 2021. Conclusions: This rigorous trial of DT will constitute a landmark step in palliative care and spiritual health services research for elderly cancer patients. Trial Registration: NCT03209440; International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/12213

  • Antiretroviral HIV medication. Source: Flickr; Copyright: NIAID; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Model-Based Methods to Translate Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions Findings Into Policy Recommendations: Rationale and Protocol...


    Background: The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 60,000 US youth are living with HIV. US youth living with HIV (YLWH) have poorer outcomes compared with adults, including lower rates of diagnosis, engagement, retention, and virologic suppression. With Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN) support, new trials of youth-centered interventions to improve retention in care and medication adherence among YLWH are underway. Objective: This study aimed to use a computer simulation model, the Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications (CEPAC)-Adolescent Model, to evaluate selected ongoing and forthcoming ATN interventions to improve viral load suppression among YLWH and to define the benchmarks for uptake, effectiveness, durability of effect, and cost that will make these interventions clinically beneficial and cost-effective. Methods: This protocol, ATN 161, establishes the ATN Modeling Core. The Modeling Core leverages extensive data—already collected by successfully completed National Institutes of Health–supported studies—to develop novel approaches for modeling critical components of HIV disease and care in YLWH. As new data emerge from ongoing ATN trials during the award period about the effectiveness of novel interventions, the CEPAC-Adolescent simulation model will serve as a flexible tool to project their long-term clinical impact and cost-effectiveness. The Modeling Core will derive model input parameters and create a model structure that reflects key aspects of HIV acquisition, progression, and treatment in YLWH. The ATN Modeling Core Steering Committee, with guidance from ATN leadership and scientific experts, will select and prioritize specific model-based analyses as well as provide feedback on derivation of model input parameters and model assumptions. Project-specific teams will help frame research questions for model-based analyses as well as provide feedback regarding project-specific inputs, results, sensitivity analyses, and policy conclusions. Results: This project was funded as of September 2017. Conclusions: The ATN Modeling Core will provide critical information to guide the scale-up of ATN interventions and the translation of ATN data into policy recommendations for YLWH in the United States.

  • Wheelchair user and an incline. Source: Shutterstock Inc; Copyright: Riopatuca; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Mobility and Participation of People With Disabilities Using Mobility Assistive Technologies: Protocol for a Mixed-Methods Study


    Background: Many community-dwelling individuals living with a disability use mobility assistive technologies (MATs). MAT devices are generally beneficial for individuals with mobility impairments. However, less is known about the specific factors that may foster or deter mobility and community participation. Objective: The purpose of this protocol is to describe the methodology for a study including three main objectives: (1) to understand the places people using MAT go and the things they do, (2) to identify perceived barriers and facilitators as well as users’ desired environmental modifications, and (3) to understand subjective and objective issues related to environmental accessibility. Methods: A mixed-methods study was conducted in Vancouver and in Quebec City. Qualitative interviews were conducted to address all three objectives. In addition, Objective 1 was achieved through collection of global positioning system (GPS) data and activity diaries with 36 participants per site who represented six types of MAT users (ie, cane, walker, crutches, manual wheelchair, power wheelchair, and scooter). All participants were invited to take part in all aspects of data collection. PhotoVoice was used to address Objectives 2 and 3. Two environmental audits were used to address Objective 2. The Stakeholders’ Walkability/Wheelability Audit in Neighbourhood (SWAN) measured perceptions related to a variety of community environmental features associated with mobility and participation. A total of 24 participants were recruited to each study site for SWAN data collection. The Measure of Environmental Accessibility (MEA) was also used to objectively measure access to exterior and interior environments selected earlier in the project by the participants that could benefit from improvements. Results: Funding for this study was obtained from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Approval was obtained from the University of British Columbia Research Ethics Board and the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Capitale-Nationale Research Ethics Board. Regarding the MEA evaluations, 19 locations (ie, buildings and exterior spaces) where obstacles have been identified by the participants of the PhotoVoice focus groups have been evaluated in Quebec City and 20 locations have been identified in the Vancouver region by the participants of the community forums. Data collection for this project was completed in December 2018. Analysis and writing of manuscripts are underway. Conclusions: The use of a variety of methods to gather data on participation and mobility will allow a more holistic consideration of factors influencing mobility with a MAT device. This study will provide objective information about the mobility of participants and identify barriers and facilitators that impact their mobility and community participation. Through the mixed-methods approach employed in this study, we will gain a subjective evaluation of the participants’ neighborhoods, including personally meaningful information on environmental features that influence participants' everyday mobility and participation. We will also gain an objective evaluation of particular obstacles that community users of MAT identify as significant barriers to their ability to access public environments. We anticipate that these findings will help to identify a broad spectrum of solutions to improve the mobility and community participation of MAT users. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/12089

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Evaluation of Clinical Outcomes and Simultaneous Digital Tracking of Daily Physical Activity, Heart Rate, and Inhalation Behavior in Patients With Pulmonary...


    Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)—a progressive, ultimately fatal disease—patients often experience dyspnea, which can limit their daily physical activities. Iloprost is an inhaled therapy for PAH that has shown efficacy in clinical trials. However, clinical trials in PAH have provided only limited data on daily physical activity. Digital monitoring of daily physical activity in PAH is therefore attracting growing interest. To fully understand a patient’s response to treatment, monitoring of treatment adherence is also required. The Breelib nebulizer for administration of iloprost saves inhalation data, thus allowing digital monitoring of adherence. Objective: This study aims to perform parallel digital tracking of daily physical activity parameters, heart rate, and iloprost inhalation data in patients with PAH, before and after starting inhaled iloprost treatment. The primary objective is to investigate correlations between changes in digital measures of daily physical activity and traditional clinical measures. Secondary objectives are to assess iloprost inhalation behavior, the association between daily physical activity measures and time since last inhalation, changes in sleep quality and heart rate, the association of heart rate with daily physical activity measures and iloprost inhalation, and adverse events. Methods: VENTASTEP is a digital, prospective, observational, multicenter, single-arm cohort study of adults with PAH in Germany, starting inhaled iloprost treatment via the Breelib nebulizer, in addition to existing PAH therapy. The study comprises a baseline period without iloprost treatment (≤2 weeks) and an observation period with iloprost treatment (3 months±2 weeks). The Apple Watch Series 2 and iPhone 6s are used with a dedicated study app to continuously measure digital daily physical activity parameters and heart rate during the baseline and observation periods; the watch is also used with a 6-min walk distance (6MWD) app to measure digital 6MWD at baseline and the end-of-observation visit. Inhalation frequency, completeness, and duration are monitored digitally via the nebulizer and the BreeConnect app. Sleep quality is assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index at baseline and the end-of-observation visit. Changes in traditional outcome measures (6MWD, Borg dyspnea scale, EuroQol 5-dimensions questionnaire, functional class, and brain natriuretic peptide [BNP] or N-terminal proBNP) between baseline and the end-of-observation visit will be correlated with changes in digital daily physical activity parameters and digital 6MWD as the primary analysis. Results: The first participant was enrolled in February 2018 (estimated study completion by July 2019; planned sample size: 80 patients). Conclusions: The VENTASTEP study will inform future research on the utility of digital parameters as outcome assessment tools for disease monitoring in PAH. The study will also provide insight into clinical outcomes, daily physical activity, and quality of life in patients adding inhaled iloprost, to existing PAH therapy. Trial Registration: NCT03293407; (Archived by WebCite at International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/12144

  • Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Losev Artyom; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Exposure to Potentially Harmful E-Cigarette Emissions via Vape Tricks: Protocol for a Mixed-Methods Study


    Background: The number of adolescents and adults using e-cigarettes, referred to as vaping, has dramatically increased. E-cigarettes can be used to perform vape tricks by inhaling and exhaling the e-cigarette aerosol in patterns to create visual effects or large clouds. To create these effects, the puffing patterns associated with vape tricks may be different than standard ad-lib e-cigarette usage. The prevalence of vape tricks and the harm associated with exposure to e-cigarette emissions when performing vape tricks is currently unknown. Objective: Our objectives are to characterize duration, heart rate, respiratory rate, tidal volume, minute volume, and physical activity metrics associated with the performance of vape tricks and to characterize the emission of e-cigarettes when performing vape tricks in a manner suitable to inform novel exposure modeling. Methods: The study will recruit e-cigarette users with a history of performing vape tricks. Data collection will occur in two different sessions. In the first session, participants will be asked to puff on their e-cigarette as they normally would for 20 minutes. The second session will be a vape tricks session, where users will be asked to perform a series of up to five different vape tricks with their e-cigarette. Data will be collected through screener surveys, in-person interviews, video recordings, a personal exposure monitor, and a biometric garment. Results: Data analysis is pending and scheduled to take place in the fall of 2019. Conclusions: This study will be used to assess the feasibility of using a biometric garment to complement environmental and observational data. The approach may provide greater insight into the health risks of performing vape tricks compared to typical e-cigarette use. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/12304

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Egan Snow; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    Protocol for the Inroads Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Internet-Delivered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–Based Early Intervention to Reduce...


    Background: The transition to adulthood is a unique developmental period characterized by numerous personal and social role changes and increased opportunities for alcohol consumption. Using alcohol to cope with anxiety symptoms is commonly reported, and young people with anxiety are at a greater risk of hazardous alcohol use and progression to alcohol use disorder. Anxiety and alcohol use tend to fuel each other in an exacerbating feed-forward cycle, leading to difficult-to-treat chronic problems. The peak in onset of anxiety and alcohol disorders suggests this developmental window represents a promising opportunity for early intervention before these problems become entrenched. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of the Inroads program, a therapist-supported, internet-delivered early intervention for young adults that targets alcohol use, anxiety symptoms, and the interconnections between these problems. Methods: A randomized controlled trial will be conducted nationally among young Australians (aged 17-24 years) who experience anxiety symptoms and drink alcohol at hazardous or harmful levels. Participants will be individually randomized on a 1:1 basis to receive the Inroads intervention or assessment plus alcohol guidelines. Participants randomized to the Inroads intervention will receive access to 5 Web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) modules and weekly therapist support via email and/or phone. The primary outcome assessment will be 8 weeks post baseline, with follow-up assessment 6 months post baseline to determine the sustainability of the intervention effects. Primary outcomes will be the total number of standard drinks consumed in the past month (assessed by the Timeline Follow-Back procedure), severity of alcohol-related harms (assessed by the Brief Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire), and anxiety symptoms across multiple disorders (assessed by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7). Secondary outcomes will include alcohol outcome expectancies; functional impairment and quality of life; and symptoms of social anxiety, anxious arousal, and depression. Results will be analyzed by intention-to-treat using multilevel mixed effects analysis for repeated measures. Results: The study is funded from 2017 to 2020 by Australian Rotary Health. Recruitment is expected to be complete by late-2018, with the 6-month follow-ups to be completed by mid-2019. Results are expected to be published in 2020. Conclusions: The study will be the first to evaluate the benefits of a youth-focused early intervention that simultaneously targets anxiety and hazardous alcohol use. By explicitly addressing the interconnections between anxiety and alcohol use and enhancing CBT coping skills, the Inroads program has the potential to interrupt the trajectory toward co-occurring anxiety and alcohol use disorders. The Web-based format of the program combined with minimal therapist support means that if effective, the program could be widely disseminated to reach young people who are not currently able or willing to access face-to-face treatment. Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12617001609347; (Archived by WebCite at International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/12370

  • Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Process Evaluation of a Medical Student–Delivered Smoking Prevention Program for Secondary Schools: Protocol for the Education Against Tobacco Cluster...


    Background: Most smokers start smoking during their early adolescence under the impression that smoking entails positive attributes. Given the addictive nature of cigarettes, however, many of them might end up as long-term smokers and suffering from tobacco-related diseases. To prevent tobacco use among adolescents, the large international medical students’ network Education Against Tobacco (EAT) educates more than 40,000 secondary school students per year in the classroom setting, using evidence-based self-developed apps and strategies. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the school-based EAT intervention in reducing smoking prevalence among seventh-grade students in Germany. Additionally, we aimed to improve the intervention by drawing conclusions from our process evaluation. Methods: We conduct a cluster-randomized controlled trial with measurements at baseline and 9, 16, and 24 months postintervention via paper-and-pencil questionnaires administered by teachers. The study groups consist of randomized schools receiving the 2016 EAT curriculum and control schools with comparable baseline data (no intervention). The primary outcome is the difference of change in smoking prevalence between the intervention and control groups at the 24-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes are between-group differences of changes in smoking-related attitudes and the number of new smokers, quitters, and never-smokers. Results: A total of 11,268 students of both sexes, with an average age of 12.32 years, in seventh grade of 144 secondary schools in Germany were included at baseline. The prevalence of cigarette smoking in our sample was 2.6%. The process evaluation surveys were filled out by 324 medical student volunteers, 63 medical student supervisors, 4896 students, and 141 teachers. Conclusions: The EAT cluster randomized trial is the largest school-based tobacco-prevention study in Germany conducted to date. Its results will provide important insights with regards to the effectiveness of medical student–delivered smoking prevention programs at school. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/13508

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Jeffrey Smith; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND).

    Socioeconomic Status and Racial or Ethnic Differences in Participation: Web-Based Survey


    Background: Web-based survey data collection has been widely used because of its advantages, although attaining and retaining participants can be challenging. There are several factors associated with successful Web-based survey participation; yet little is known regarding racial or ethnic and socioeconomic differences in the progress of a Web-based survey. Objective: This study aimed to examine racial or ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) differences in participation in a Web-based survey. Methods: We conducted a secondary data analysis of a study dataset containing information on parents of preschool children. We used 2 phases of Web-based surveys: (1) screening questions including race or ethnicity information and (2) full survey with a consent form. Once potential participants submitted the screening questions, including their racial or ethnic information, the team sent the full survey link to potential participants who met study eligibility criteria. We calculated the proportion of racial or ethnic groups in each of the following areas: consent, partial survey completion, and total survey completion. Results: A total of 487 participants (236 non-Hispanic white, 44 Hispanic, 137 black, and 70 Asian) completed initial screening questions, and a total of 458 participants met study eligibility criteria. Compared with black participants, non-Hispanic white and Asian participants were more likely to consent to participate in the study (odds ratio [OR] 1.73, 95% CI 1.08-2.78, P=.02; OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.04-4.13, P=.04, respectively). There was no racial or ethnic difference with respect to the completion of demographic questions or completion of a partial survey. Finally, compared with black participants, non-Hispanic white participants were more likely to complete the entire survey (OR 3.36, 95% CI 1.51-7.06, P<.001). With respect to SES, less educated non-Hispanic white participants were less likely to complete the survey compared with their counterparts with more education (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.50-1.48, P<.001). Conclusions: We found a significant difference among racial or ethnic groups as well as different education levels in Web-based survey participation. Survey researchers need to consider the SES and racial or ethnic differences in Web-based survey participation and develop strategies to address this bias in participation and completion in their research.

  • Hospital in Motion project logo. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Hospital in Motion, a Multidimensional Implementation Project to Improve Patients’ Physical Behavior During Hospitalization: Protocol for a Mixed-Methods...


    Background: Despite the evidence of the adverse consequences of immobility during hospitalization, patients spend most of the time in bed. Although physical activity is a modifiable factor that can prevent in-hospital functional decline, bed rest is deeply rooted in the hospital culture. To attack this, a multidimensional approach is needed. Therefore, Hospital in Motion, a multidimensional implementation project, was designed to improve physical behavior during hospitalization. Objective: The primary objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of Hospital in Motion on inpatient physical behavior. Secondary objectives are to investigate the effectiveness on length of hospital stay and immobility-related complications of patients during hospitalization and to monitor the implementation process. Methods: For this study, Hospital in Motion will be implemented within 4 wards (cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, medical oncology, and hematology) in a Dutch University Medical Center. Per ward, multidisciplinary teams will be composed who follow a step-by-step multidimensional implementation approach including the development and implementation of tailored action plans with multiple interventions to stimulate physical activity in daily care. A prepost observational study design will be used to evaluate the difference in physical behavior before and 1 year after the start of the project, including 40 patients per time point per ward (160 patients in total). The primary outcome measure is the percentage of time spent lying, measured with the behavioral mapping method. In addition, a process evaluation will be performed per ward using caregivers’ and patient surveys and semistructured interviews with patients and caregivers. Results: This study is ongoing. The first participant was enrolled in October 2017 for the premeasurement. The postmeasurements are planned for the end of 2018. The first results are expected to be submitted for publication in autumn 2019. Conclusions: This study will provide information about the effectiveness of the Hospital in Motion project on physical behavior and about the procedures of the followed implementation process aimed to incorporate physical activity in usual care. These insights will be useful for others interested in changing physical behavior during hospitalization. Trial Registration: Netherlands Trial Register NTR7109; (Archived by WebCite at International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/11341

  • Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: everything possible; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    The Future of Health Care: Protocol for Measuring the Potential of Task Automation Grounded in the National Health Service Primary Care System


    Background: Recent advances in technology have reopened an old debate on which sectors will be most affected by automation. This debate is ill served by the current lack of detailed data on the exact capabilities of new machines and how they are influencing work. Although recent debates about the future of jobs have focused on whether they are at risk of automation, our research focuses on a more fine-grained and transparent method to model task automation and specifically focus on the domain of primary health care. Objective: This protocol describes a new wave of intelligent automation, focusing on the specific pressures faced by primary care within the National Health Service (NHS) in England. These pressures include staff shortages, increased service demand, and reduced budgets. A critical part of the problem we propose to address is a formal framework for measuring automation, which is lacking in the literature. The health care domain offers a further challenge in measuring automation because of a general lack of detailed, health care–specific occupation and task observational data to provide good insights on this misunderstood topic. Methods: This project utilizes a multimethod research design comprising two phases: a qualitative observational phase and a quantitative data analysis phase; each phase addresses one of the two project aims. Our first aim is to address the lack of task data by collecting high-quality, detailed task-specific data from UK primary health care practices. This phase employs ethnography, observation, interviews, document collection, and focus groups. The second aim is to propose a formal machine learning approach for probabilistic inference of task- and occupation-level automation to gain valuable insights. Sensitivity analysis is then used to present the occupational attributes that increase/decrease automatability most, which is vital for establishing effective training and staffing policy. Results: Our detailed fieldwork includes observing and documenting 16 unique occupations and performing over 130 tasks across six primary care centers. Preliminary results on the current state of automation and the potential for further automation in primary care are discussed. Our initial findings are that tasks are often shared amongst staff and can include convoluted workflows that often vary between practices. The single most used technology in primary health care is the desktop computer. In addition, we have conducted a large-scale survey of over 156 machine learning and robotics experts to assess what tasks are susceptible to automation, given the state-of-the-art technology available today. Further results and detailed analysis will be published toward the end of the project in early 2019. Conclusions: We believe our analysis will identify many tasks currently performed manually within primary care that can be automated using currently available technology. Given the proper implementation of such automating technologies, we expect considerable staff resources to be saved, alleviating some pressures on the NHS primary care staff. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/11232

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Ulrika Öberg; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Person-Centered Interactive Self-Management Support in Primary Health Care for People with Type 2 Diabetes: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial


    Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing as the population ages. The development of new medical treatments is promising and important, but the basic treatment remains self-management, even if adherence to lifestyle advice is low. Electronic health (eHealth) or mHealth interventions can increase empowerment among people living with T2D and may compensate for the lack of professional resources and geographical distances. The interactive self-management support (iSMS) project aims at including digital tools to support people living with T2D in their self-management and facilitating their interaction with diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs). This protocol outlines a study with the purpose of developing and evaluating an intervention where people living with T2D can increase self-efficacy and empowerment through digital self-monitoring and interaction with DSNs. Objective: To develop and evaluate a person-centered iSMS intervention in primary health care for people with T2D in addition to their usual diabetes care. Methods: This study is a 12-month, 3-armed, nonblinded randomized controlled trial (RCT), which will be conducted in 6 primary health care centers (HCCs) in northern Sweden. Eligible participants will be randomized to either an intervention group (n=46), a control group (n=46), or an external group (n=46) for comparison. The intervention group will receive the mobile app, and the control group will receive a minimal intervention (diabetes brochure) and the usual standard of care. Changes in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) will be the primary outcome measure. Results: This trial is currently open for recruitment. The first results are expected to be submitted for publication in Autumn 2019. Conclusions: This study, with its focus on iSMS, will provide insights regarding suitable ways to promote and develop a person-centered intervention. If successful, the intervention has the potential to become a model for the provision of self-management support to people with T2D.

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
  • Remotely-Monitored Gamification and Social Incentives to Improve Glycemic Control among Adults with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes (iDiabetes): Protocol for a Randomized, Controlled Trial

    Date Submitted: Apr 8, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 9, 2019 - Apr 23, 2019

    Background: Type 2 diabetes is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Lifestyle modification including increasing physical activity and losing weight have been demonstrat...

    Background: Type 2 diabetes is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Lifestyle modification including increasing physical activity and losing weight have been demonstrated to improve glycemic control. However, most patients struggle to make these changes. Many stakeholders are interested in using gamification and social incentives to increase engagement in healthy behaviors. However, these approaches often do not appropriately leverage insights from behavioral economics which could be used to identify predictable barriers to behavior change. Objective: The objective of iDiabetes (Influencing DIabetics to Adapt Behaviors related to Exercise and weighT by Enhancing Social incentives) was to evaluate the effectiveness of gamification interventions that leverage insights from behavioral economics to enhance either supportive, competitive, or collaborative social incentives to improve glycemic control, promote weight loss, and increase physical activity among overweight and obese adults with Type 2 diabetes. Methods: We are conducting a one-year, four-arm randomized controlled trial of 361 overweight and obese patients with Type 2 diabetes and a hemoglobin A1c ≥ 8.0. Wireless weight scales and wearable devices are provided to remotely monitor weight and physical activity and transmit data to the study team. Patients establish a baseline measure of weight, daily step count, hemoglobin A1c and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and then repeat these measures at 6 and 12 months. The control arm receives no other interventions. Patients randomized to one of the three intervention arms are entered into a game designed using insights from behavioral economics to enhance either supportive, competitive, or collaborative social incentives. To examine predictors of strong or poor performance, participants completed validated questionnaires on a range of areas including their personality, risk preferences, and social network. Results: Enrollment of 361 patients completed in January 2019. Results are expected in 2020. Conclusions: The iDiabetes Trial represents a scalable model to remotely monitor the daily health behaviors of adults with type 2 diabetes. Results from this trial will help to provide insights into how to improve the management of patients with type 2 diabetes. Clinical Trial: Identifier: NCT02961192

  • Impact of promoting patient access to their Electronic Health Care Record: A Systematic Review

    Date Submitted: Mar 26, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Mar 28, 2019 - May 23, 2019

    Background: A significant cost element of healthcare provision are one-to-one interactions with individuals at clinic visits or by phone. HIT (Health Information technology) ( a...

    Background: A significant cost element of healthcare provision are one-to-one interactions with individuals at clinic visits or by phone. HIT (Health Information technology) ( and patient-shared EHRs have the potential to decrease these costs, improve access to healthcare data, self-care, quality of care, and health and patient-centred outcome. Objective: This systematic literature review is aimed at identifying the benefits and issues around promoting patients access to their own Electronic Healthcare Records (EHRs). The purpose is to outline and summarize study results on the impact of patients’ online access to their own EHRs from the primary healthcare centres and hospitals and access to the patient portals. Methods: Searches were conducted in PubMed, MEDLINE, COCHRANE library, CINHAL and Google scholar. Over 2000 papers were screened, and initially filtered based on duplicates, then by reading the titles and finally based on their abstracts. 54 papers were retained, analysed and summarised, of which 24 were studies involving patient portals. Papers were included if patient access to their own EHRs (including patient portals) was the primary intervention used in the study. The search technique used to identify relevant literature for this paper, involved input from 5 experts. Results: While 52% authors agree that access to EHRs would be beneficial to patients and the overall healthcare system, a few (18%) critics have highlighted concerns as well. While the benefits range from re-assurance (8%), reduced anxiety (8%), positive impact on consultations (6%), better doctor-patient relationship (10%) and increased awareness and adherence to medicines (8%), most of the concerns are around security and privacy and confidentiality of personal health information along with anxiety in cases of serious illnesses (18%). Using patient portals was found to improve patient outcomes such as medication compliance, achieving blood pressure control, controlling sugar levels and glycaemic control, improving functional status and reduced high-cost healthcare utilisation in patients with chronic conditions, enhance timely patient centred care. These were noted in a range of study populations. In addition, patient portals were found to improve self-reported levels of engagement or activation related to self-management, enhanced knowledge, and improve recovery scores, and organisational efficiencies in a tertiary level mental health care facility. However, three studies out of 24 did not find statistical effect of patient portals on health outcomes. Along with the overall impact of patients’ access to EHR systems, this review has presented the impact of access to patient portals separately as well. Conclusions: This literature review identified some benefits and harms involved in promoting patients’ access to their own EHRs (including the patient portals). This access is often part of government strategies when developing patient-centric self-management elements of a sustainable healthcare system. The findings of this review could give healthcare providers a framework to analyse the benefits offered by promoting patient access to EHRs and decide on the best approach for their own specialities and clinical set up. A robust cost-benefit evaluation of such initiatives along with its impact on major stakeholders within the healthcare system would be essential in understanding the overall impact of such initiatives. Implementation of patient access to their EHRs could help the government address concerns in developing national standards, whilst taking care of local variations and fulfilling the healthcare needs of the population, e.g. to that goal UK Government is committed to making full GP records available online to every patient by 2018. Ultimately, increasing transparency and promoting personal responsibility are key elements of a sustainable healthcare system for future generations.