JMIR Formative Research
Process evaluations, early results, and feasibility/pilot studies of digital and non-digital interventions
JMIR Formative Research (JFR, ISSN 2561-326X, Impact Factor 2.2) 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
- define and understand populations in need of an intervention or public health program
- create programs that are specific to the needs of those populations
- ensure programs are acceptable and feasible to users before launching
- improve the relationship between users and agencies/research groups
- demonstrate the feasibility, use, satisfaction with, or problems with a program before large-scale summative evaluation (looking at health outcomes)
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 or adapting programs and should be used while the program is ongoing to help refine and improve program activities. Thus, formative evaluation can and should also occur in the form of a process evaluation alongside a summative evaluation such as an RCT.
JFR fills an important gap in the academic journals landscape, as it publishes sound and peer-reviewed formative research that is critical for investigators to apply for further funding, but that is usually not published in outcomes-focused medical journals aiming for impact and generalizability.
Summative evaluations of programs and apps/software that have undergone a thorough formative evaluation before launch have a better chance to be published in high-impact flagship journals; thus, we encourage authors to submit - as a first step - their formative evaluations in JFR (and their evaluation protocols to JMIR Research Protocols).
In 2023, JMIR Formative Research received an inaugural Journal Impact Factor™ of 2.2 (Source: Journal Citation Reports™ from Clarivate, 2023). JFR is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, Scopus, and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate).
Maternal health outcomes have been underresearched due to people who are pregnant being underrepresented or excluded from studies based on their status as a vulnerable study population. Based on the available evidence, Black people who are pregnant have dramatically higher maternal morbidity and mortality rates compared to other racial and ethnic groups. However, insights into prenatal care—including the use of medications, immunizations, and prenatal vitamins—are not well understood for pregnant populations, particularly those that are underrepresented in biomedical research. Medication use has been particularly understudied in people who are pregnant; even though it has been shown that up to 95% of people who are pregnant take at least 1 or more medications. Understanding gaps in use could help identify ways to reduce maternal disparities and optimize maternal health outcomes.
Patients fail to accurately remember 40% to 80% of medical information relayed during doctor appointments, and most standard after-visit summaries fail to effectively help patients comply with behaviors to manage their health conditions. The value of technology to empower and engage patients in their health management has been shown, and here we apply technology to help patients remember and act upon information communicated during their medical appointments.
We developed Street Temptations (ST) as an add-on intervention to increase the treatment responsivity of adolescents with disruptive behavior problems. ST’s primary aim is to improve adolescents’ mentalizing abilities in order to help them engage in and benefit from psychotherapy. Additionally, virtual reality (VR) is used to work in a more visual, less verbal, fashion.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a rare disease that is strongly associated with exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus and is characterized by the formation of malignant cells in nasopharynx tissues. Early diagnosis of NPC is often difficult owing to the location of initial tumor sites and the nonspecificity of initial symptoms, resulting in a higher frequency of advanced-stage diagnoses and a poorer prognosis. Access to high-quality, readable information could improve the early detection of the disease and provide support to patients during disease management.
All World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys apply high standards of data quality. To date, most of the published quality control (QC) procedures for these surveys were in relation to face-to-face interviews. However, owing to the social restrictions that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, telephone interviews are the most effective alternative for conducting complex probability-based large-scale surveys.
Race-based anxiety is a critical health issue within the Black community. Mindfulness interventions hold promise for treating race-based anxiety in Black Americans; however, there are many barriers that prevent Black Americans from using these treatments, such as low cultural relevance, significant time burdens, and excessive costs.
Patients with chronic respiratory diseases and those in the postdischarge period following hospitalization because of COVID-19 are particularly vulnerable, and little is known about the changes in their symptoms and physiological parameters. Continuous remote monitoring of physiological parameters and symptom changes offers the potential for timely intervention, improved patient outcomes, and reduced health care costs.
Most forcibly displaced refugees in Sweden originate from the Arab Republic of Syria and Iraq. Approximately half of all refugees are aged between 15 and 26 years. This particular group of youths is at a higher risk for developing various mental disorders. However, low use of mental health services across Europe has been reported. Previous research indicates that culturally adapted psychological interventions may be suitable for refugee youths. However, little is known about the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of such psychological interventions.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has underscored the need for field specimen collection and transport to diagnostic and public health laboratories. Self-collected nasal swabs transported without dependency on a cold chain have the potential to remove critical barriers to testing, expand testing capacity, and reduce opportunities for exposure of health professionals in the context of a pandemic.
Demographic changes in the world population have resulted in an increasingly aging society, with a progressive increase in the number of people in situations of dependence, who require assistance from family members to meet their basic needs. Caring for older adults involves performing diverse activities, resulting in reduced free time and tiredness, and fulfilling the demands and expectations related to personal, family, physical, and social life, consequently compromising the quality of life of the caregiver. In this context, the informal caregiver of hospitalized older adults emerges as the focus of attention.
Sexual assault is prevalent on college campuses and most commonly is perpetrated by men. Problematically, there is a dearth of evidence-based prevention programs targeting men as perpetrators of sexual aggression. The Sexual Assault and Alcohol Feedback and Education (SAFE) program is an integrated alcohol and sexual assault prevention intervention for college men who engage in heavy drinking that aims to address sexual aggression proclivity and alcohol use outcomes by incorporating social norms theory, bystander intervention, and motivational interviewing.
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