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JMIR Formative Research (JFR) (a sister journal of J Med Internet Res (JMIR) and JMIR mHealth & uHealth, the leading eHealth and mHealth journals by impact factor) publishes peer-reviewed, openly accessible papers containing results from process evaluations, feasibility/pilot studies and other kinds of formative research and preliminary results. While the original focus was on the design of medical and health-related research and technology innovations, JFR publishes studies from all areas of medical and health research.
Formative research is research that occurs before a program is designed and implemented, or while a program is being conducted. Formative research can help
Many funding agencies will expect some sort of pilot/feasibility/process evaluation before funding a larger study such as a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT).
Formative research should be an integral part of developing programs or adapting programs, and should be used while the program is on-going to help refine and improve program activities. Thus, formative evaluation can and should also occur in form of a process evaluation alongside a summative evaluation such as a RCT.
This journal fills an important gap in the academic journals landscape, as it publishes sound and peer-reviewed formative research that is criticial for investigators to apply for further funding, but that is usually not published in outcomes-focussed medical journals aiming for impact and generalizability.
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Background: Little is known about the opinions or perceived benefits of an inspiratory muscle training (IMT) intervention in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and their multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Obje...
Background: Little is known about the opinions or perceived benefits of an inspiratory muscle training (IMT) intervention in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and their multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Objective: The aim of this qualitative study was to examine patients and MDT's views on IMT to inform and tailor future interventions. Methods: Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted to evaluate participant's perspectives of a 4-week IMT intervention. Eight of the 13 involved in the IMT programme (5 children; 11-14 years; two physiotherapists; one respiratory physician) participated. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, analysed using thematic analyses and then coded into relevant themes. Results: Four key themes emerged: acceptability, facilitators, barriers and recommendations. Whilst fun, enjoyment and improved perceived physical ability were reported by children and their MDT following the IMT programme, the MDT identified factors such as time and cost as key barriers. Conclusions: A short IMT programme was perceived to have positive effects on the physical ability and psychosocial health of children of children with CF. These findings highlight the importance of obtaining participant and MDT perceptions and recommendations to ensure the efficacy and optimal design of future IMT protocols.
Background: Dried blood spots (DBS) have been increasingly used in biomedical research as an objective measure for variables that are typically plagued by self-report, such as smoking status. The deve...
Background: Dried blood spots (DBS) have been increasingly used in biomedical research as an objective measure for variables that are typically plagued by self-report, such as smoking status. The development of training materials for the self-collection of DBS that can be delivered online would allow for broader use of this methodology. Objective: The goal of this project was to develop and evaluate multi-media training materials delivered online to allow for the remote self-collection of DBS. Methods: We recruited participants via Facebook for two studies. In Study 1, we evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of our newly developed DBS training materials. In Study 2, we examined the feasibility of implementing this protocol within a larger online study. Results: In Study 1 participants (n=115) were, on average, 26.1±6.4 years of age. Participants who used the training materials produced useable samples (96% collected DBS were useable). Self-collection of DBS also was feasible as 98% of participants were willing to collect DBS again. In Study 2, assessing implementation, our response rate was 25% (41/164) with non-responders significantly younger than responders were (22.0±0.4 years vs. 20.3±0.2 years, P<.001) and 92% of DBS were useable by the lab. Conclusions: Overall, while the protocol is acceptable, feasible, and produced useable samples, additional work is needed to improve response rates.
Background: As mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous, technology-based interventions provide a promising strategy to positively influence health behaviors of families with young children. However, qu...
Background: As mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous, technology-based interventions provide a promising strategy to positively influence health behaviors of families with young children. However, questions remain about the feasibility and acceptability of intervention delivery via mobile apps in low-income, rural settings and among families with preschoolers. Objective: The aims of this study were to understand the content and context of preschooler’s mobile device; explore parent beliefs on this topic, including the acceptability of intervention delivery via mobile devices; and to test a prototype of an app to encourage preschoolers’ physical activity with both parents and children. Methods: Parents (n=29) were recruited from five preschool centers in eastern, rural Colorado to complete a semi-structured telephone interview regarding preschooler’s mobile device use. A second sample of parents (n=31) were recruited from the same preschool centers to view the app prototype independently and provide feedback. A third sample of preschool children (n=24) were videotaped using the app in small groups to measure engagement and record their responses to the app. Results: Five key content areas emerged from the telephone interviews: 1) mobile devices are an important part of families’ everyday routines and parents have parameters governing their use; 2) parents often use mobile devices as a tool for behavior management; 3) parents clearly distinguish between mobile device use for learning vs entertainment; 4) parents have an overarching desire for balance in regards to their child’s mobile device use; and 5) parents were generally supportive of the idea of using mobile apps for intervention delivery. From the app prototype testing with parents, participants reacted positively to the app and felt that it would be useful in a variety of situations. Testing with preschoolers showed the children were highly engaged with the app and on average, moved actively for 74% of the movement time, or just over 2 minutes, each time they used the app. Conclusions: Mobile devices are already integrated into most families’ daily routines and appear to be an acceptable method of intervention delivery in low-income, rural, Colorado families. The physical activity app represents an innovative way to reach these families and, with further improvements based on participant feedback, will provide children a unique opportunity to practice key movement skills.