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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: There is a need for evidence-based substance use prevention efforts that target high school-aged youth that are easy to implement and suitable for dissemination in school and community gro...
Background: There is a need for evidence-based substance use prevention efforts that target high school-aged youth that are easy to implement and suitable for dissemination in school and community groups. The Youth Message Development (YMD) program, a 4-lesson, in-person curriculum which develops media literacy and critical thinking skills among youth, has demonstrated evidence of success but is limited by its delivery method and focus on alcohol and smoking. Objective: To adapt the in-person YMD curriculum for youth ages 13-15 to a self-paced, interactive, e-learning format targeting several commonly used substances for implementation and dissemination in a national youth organization and subsequently test the feasibility of this approach. Methods: An iterative process was employed in partnership with the 4-H youth development organization and a technology developer and consisted of six phases: (1) focus groups with the target audience, (2) adaptation to e-learning format, renamed REAL media, (3) pilot testing, (4) program revisions, (5) usability testing, and (6) final revisions. Results: Focus group feedback guided the build of an e-learning prototype of REAL media, which consisted on five online levels and interactive content guided by a mix of narration and on-screen text. Results of a pilot test of the prototype were neutral to positive, and the program was refined based on end-user feedback. An independent usability test indicated that youth 4-H members felt favorably about navigating REAL media, and they reported high self-efficacy in applying skills learned in the program. Additional refinements to the program were made based upon their feedback. Conclusions: The iterative build process involving the end-user from the outset yielded an overall successful technology-driven adaptation of an evidence-based curriculum. This should increase the likelihood of effectively impacting behavioral outcomes as well as uptake within community organizations.
Background: Background: The association between mental health difficulties and academic attainment is well established. There is increasing research into mHealth interventions to provide support for t...
Background: Background: The association between mental health difficulties and academic attainment is well established. There is increasing research into mHealth interventions to provide support for the mental health and education of young people. To adequately plan and conduct effectiveness trials of mHealth interventions, feasibility studies are urgently needed, especially as non-adoption and inadequate implementation of mHealth interventions are prevalent barriers to larger trials. Objective: Objectives: The primary aim of the present research was to examine the feasibility of an mHealth intervention – ReZone – in reducing mental health difficulties in young people. Methods: Methods: We are collecting data for a larger cluster trial where a minimum of N=120 students with classes randomized to ReZone or management as usual is being recruited. Currently, we have collected data on N = 79 students. We report the feasibility of implementing and evaluating ReZone based on current data. Results: Results: ReZone was used 1,043 times during the period of the present research, which corresponds to 23 times per each of the 45 students in classes allocated to ReZone. Of the 79 students recruited, 59 were retained to follow up, corresponding to attrition of 20 students (25%). Conclusions: Conclusions: The proposed research suggests that implementation and evaluation of ReZone is feasible. Further data from the trial is required to determine whether ReZone is effective at helping young people to self-manage when feeling overwhelmed. Clinical Trial: ISRCTN number: 13425994