JMIR Formative Research

Process evaluations, early results, and feasibility/pilot studies of digital and non-digital interventions

Editor-in-Chief:

Amaryllis Mavragani, PhD, Scientific Editor at JMIR Publications, Canada


Impact Factor 2.2

JMIR Formative Research (JFR, ISSN 2561-326X, Impact Factor 2.2publishes 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 CentralDOAJ, Scopus, Sherpa/Romeo, EBSCO/EBSCO Essentials, and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate).

Recent Articles

Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Digital Health Interventions

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) affects children, causing serious infections, particularly in high-risk groups. Given the seasonality of RSV and the importance of rapid isolation of infected individuals, there is an urgent need for more efficient diagnostic methods to expedite this process.

|
Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Digital Health Interventions

Subjective cognitive concerns (SCCs) entail perceived difficulties in thinking or memory, often reported without substantial objective evidence of cognitive impairment. These concerns are prevalent among individuals with a history of brain injuries, neurological conditions, or chronic illnesses, contributing to both psychological distress and functional limitations. They are increasingly considered to be a risk factor for future objective decline. A considerable number of individuals reporting SCCs also exhibit mental health symptoms, such as a history of trauma, depression, or anxiety. Interventions that address modifiable emotional and cognitive factors related to SCC could improve functioning and quality of life. Therefore, the use of emotion regulation strategies, especially those directed at minimizing rumination, could serve as a promising focus for interventions aimed at mitigating subjective cognitive concerns in veteran populations.

|
Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Digital Health Interventions

Acute mental health services report high levels of safety incidents that involve both patients and staff. The potential for patients to be involved in interventions to improve safety within a mental health setting is acknowledged, and there is a need for interventions that proactively seek the patient perspective of safety. Digital technologies may offer opportunities to address this need.

|
Article Thumbnail
Development and Evaluation of Research Methods, Instruments and Tools

The Ohio Cardiovascular and Diabetes Health Collaborative (Cardi-OH) unites general and subspecialty medical staff at the 7 medical schools in Ohio with community and public health partnerships to improve cardiovascular and diabetes health outcomes and eliminate disparities in Ohio’s Medicaid population. Although statewide collaboratives exist to address health improvements, few deploy needs assessments to inform their work.

|
Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Digital Health Interventions

For almost two decades, researchers and clinicians have argued that certain aspects of mental health treatment can be removed from clinicians’ responsibilities and allocated to technology, preserving valuable clinician time and alleviating the burden on the behavioral health care system. The service delivery tasks that could arguably be allocated to technology without negatively impacting patient outcomes include screening, triage, and referral.

|
Article Thumbnail
Pilot studies (ehealth)

Overprescription of opioids has led to increased misuse of opioids, resulting in higher rates of overdose. The workplace can play a vital role in an individual’s intentions to misuse prescription opioids with injured workers being prescribed opioids, at a rate 3 times the national average. For example, health care workers are at risk for injuries, opioid dispensing, and diversion. Intervening within a context that may contribute to risks for opioid misuse while targeting individual psychosocial factors may be a useful complement to interventions at policy and prescribing levels.

|
Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Digital Health Interventions

Cybersecurity is a growing challenge for health systems worldwide as the rapid adoption of digital technologies has led to increased cyber vulnerabilities with implications for patients and health providers. It is critical to develop workforce awareness and training as part of a safety culture and continuous improvement within health care organizations. However, there are limited open-access, health care–specific resources to help organizations at different levels of maturity develop their cybersecurity practices.

|
Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Digital Health Interventions

There is an ongoing debate about whether digital mental health interventions (DMHIs) can reduce racial and socioeconomic inequities in access to mental health care. A key factor in this debate involves the extent to which racial and ethnic minoritized individuals and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals are willing to use, and pay for, DMHIs.

|
Article Thumbnail
Development and Evaluation of Research Methods, Instruments and Tools

College students with disabilities need to transition from pediatric-centered care to adult care. However, they may become overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities, such as academic activities, peer relationships, career preparation, job seeking, independent living, as well as managing their health and promoting healthy behaviors.

|
Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Non-Ehealth Innovations

Adult obesity and overweight pose a substantial risk to global public health and are associated with various noncommunicable diseases. Although intermittent fasting (IF) is increasingly used as a relatively new dietary strategy for weight loss, the effectiveness of 2 days per week of dry fasting remains unknown.

|
Article Thumbnail
Formative Evaluation of Digital Health Interventions

Digitalizing oral health data through an app can help manage the extensive data obtained through oral health surveys. The Tooth Memo app collects data from oral health surveys and personal health information.

|

Preprints Open for Peer-Review

We are working in partnership with