JMIR Mental Health
Internet interventions, technologies and digital innovations for mental health and behaviour change
JMIR Mental Health focusses on digital health and Internet interventions, technologies and electronic innovations (software and hardware) for mental health, addictions, online counselling and behaviour change. This includes formative evaluation and system descriptions, theoretical papers, review papers, viewpoint/vision papers, and rigorous evaluations.
JMIR Mental Health publishes even faster and has a broader scope with including papers which are more technical or more formative/developmental than what would be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
JMIR Mental Health features a rapid and thorough peer-review process, professional copyediting, professional production of PDF, XHTML, and XML proofs. The journal is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, and ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index).
JMIR Mental Health adheres to the same quality standards as JMIR and all articles published here are also cross-listed in the Table of Contents of JMIR, the worlds' leading medical journal in health sciences / health services research and health informatics.
Editorial Board members are currently being recruited, please contact us if you are interested (jmir.editorial.office at gmail.com).
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Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:View All Open Peer Review Articles
Standalone Effects of a Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Using a Smartphone Application on Psychological Distress and Alcohol Consumption among Japanese Workers: A Non-Randomized Controlled Trial
Date Submitted: Sep 18, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Sep 20, 2017 - Sep 27, 2017
Background: Recent research shows computer-delivered interventions to be effective for treating psychological distress and drinking-related problems. Meanwhile, no studies have investigated standalone...
Background: Recent research shows computer-delivered interventions to be effective for treating psychological distress and drinking-related problems. Meanwhile, no studies have investigated standalone effects of a smartphone-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) without any human contact. A smartphone application, called Self Record, that facilitates cognitive restructuring through self-monitoring of daily thoughts and activities was developed. Objective: The current study investigated the effectiveness of the Self Record application and the moderating effect of negative mood regulation expectancies (NMRE), which are beliefs about one's ability to control one's negative mood. Methods: A research marketing company recruited 723 Japanese full-time workers (age 20-59) with mild to moderate psychological distress and an interest in trying the self-monitoring application. Those who were willing to use the application used it for four weeks as an intervention group, while those who chose not to use the application were placed as a control group. Both groups completed pre-test and post-test measures of Negative Mood Regulation Scale (NMR-J), WHO-Five Well-being index (WHO-5), K6, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D), State-Trait Anxiety Scale (STAI), and Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ). Results: Contrary to our hypothesis, results showed that participants in the intervention group had increases in anxiety, χ23 = 8.54, P = .04, typical drinking, χ23 = 13.99, P = .003, and heavy drinking, χ23 = 14.69, P = .002, compared to those in the control condition. NMRE moderated heavy drinking, F2,185 = 4.69, P = .01. For those with high NMRE, heavy drinking decreased among participants in the control condition but increased among those in the intervention condition; this difference was non-significant among participants with low NMRE. Effect sizes were small in all findings. Conclusions: Cognitive restructuring methods of standalone smartphone interventions may heighten individuals’ awareness of their pathological thought and behavior but may be insufficient to decrease psychological distress and drinking unless treated with a more intense or face-to-face intervention.
WalkAlong: process evaluation of an online mental health portal using Google Analytics
Date Submitted: Sep 7, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Sep 11, 2017 - Nov 6, 2017
Background: Despite the increasing amount of research on online mental health interventions with proven efficacy, high attrition rates decrease their effectiveness. Continued process evaluations shoul...
Background: Despite the increasing amount of research on online mental health interventions with proven efficacy, high attrition rates decrease their effectiveness. Continued process evaluations should be performed to maximize the target population’s engagement. Google analytics has been used to evaluate various health-related web-based programs, and may also be useful for online mental health programs. WalkAlong.ca is a youth-oriented mental health web-portal that includes various tools including self-assessment and monitoring, mental health literacy pages, and links to additional resources and online programs (ie. MoodGYM – a free, interactive web program designed to prevent depression). Objective: This evaluation study is aimed to evaluate WalkAlong using Google Analytics to inform the improvement strategy for the platform, and to demonstrate the use of Google Analytics as a tool for process evaluation of e-mental health interventions. Methods: Google Analytics was used to monitor user activity during WalkAlong’s first year of operation (Nov. 13, 2013 – Nov. 13, 2014). User behaviour based on the device (desktop, mobile phones, and tablets) used, and channels (direct via URL (Uniform Resource Locator), organic search, referrals) used to access the website were observed. New and returning users, depth and length of average sessions, and visits to individual WalkAlong pages were also observed. These indicators were measured using descriptive statistics in terms of proportion of sessions (%), bounce rate (%), pages visited per session (N), mean session duration (minutes seconds), and goal conversion rate (%). Bounce rate measures the proportion of sessions that were ended after visiting only a single page. Goal conversion rate measures the proportion of sessions that achieved a goal out of the total sessions where goals are defined as creating an account. Results: The results cover data from the first year of operation, including data from 3076 unique users viewing 29,299 pages. The majority of visitors were desktop users (82.3%) with a lower bounce rate (39.6%) compared to tablets (48.7%) and smartphones (61.6%). Direct traffic (access via URL) accounted for the largest proportion with 45.5% among other channels with low bounce rate (36.6%). Returning users had lower bounce rate (31.0%) than new users (51.6%). Users spent longer average time on the screener tool (3m 04s) than the mindsteps (0m 35s) and self-help exercises (1m 08s). Conclusions: Future improvement for WalkAlong should improve mobile accessibility, engage new users, and engage users more with mindsteps and self-help exercises. The data provided by Google Analytics, though informative, can be supplemented by other evaluation methods (ie. qualitative methods) in order to better determine the modifications to improve user engagement. Google Analytics can play a vital role in highlighting the preference of those using e-mental health tools.
Psychosocial assessment using telehealth in adolescent and young adults with cancer: A randomised pilot study
Date Submitted: Sep 1, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Sep 3, 2017 - Oct 29, 2017
Background: Adolescent and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are at increased risk of psychosocial difficulties relative to their healthy peers. Current models of in-patient face-to-face psychosocial ca...
Background: Adolescent and young adults (AYAs) with cancer are at increased risk of psychosocial difficulties relative to their healthy peers. Current models of in-patient face-to-face psychosocial care, whilst essential, may limit the capacity for clinicians to provide timely and personalised assessment and intervention to AYAs who are unable to attend due to barriers such as time, logistics, distance to travel and stigma. Telehealth offers a promising alternative towards increasing access to the provision of evidence-based psychosocial assessment and treatment for AYAs with cancer. Objective: This partially-randomised patient-preference pilot study aimed to examine the feasibility and acceptability of providing psychosocial assessment via telehealth to AYAs currently receiving treatment for cancer, relative to face-to-face delivery. Methods: Patients were eligible if they were: between the ages of 15-25; currently receiving treatment; had sufficient English; and were medically stable. Patients were recruited from oncology clinics/wards, and allocated to receive a psychosocial assessment (AYA Oncology Psychosocial Assessment Measure) with a clinical psychologist or social worker via face-to-face or telehealth modalities using a partially-randomised patient preference model. Patients completed a pre- and post-assessment questionnaire including validated and purposely designed feasibility and acceptability indices (YSQ, Treatment Credibility and Expectations Questionnaire, WAI) and measures of psychosocial wellbeing (K10, Peds-QL-AYA, AYA Oncology Screening Tool). Clinicians also completed a post-assessment questionnaire rating their impressions of the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention delivery via each modality. Results: Patients were recruited from three hospitals in Australia. Of 29 patients approached, 23 consented to participate (response rate = 79%). Participants were randomised to either the telehealth (n=8; 35%; mean age=16.50 years [range=15-23]; females=4 [50%]) or face-to-face (n=11; 62%; mean age=17 years [range=15-22]; females=8 [72.70%]) conditions. Four participants were withdrawn due to logistical/medical complications (attrition rate = 17.4%). The majority 6/8 (75%) of participants in the telehealth group used their own computer/iPad with minor technical difficulties occurring in 3/8 (37.5%) of assessments. Participants from both groups rated high working alliance (WAI: median patient response in the telehealth group = 74 [range: 59-84] and face to face group = 63 [range: 51-84]) and reported positive beliefs regarding the credibility and expectations of their treatment group. Post-assessment preferences between face-to-face or online modalities varied. The majority of patients in the telehealth group (5/8, 63%) reported no preference, whilst 6/11 (55%) in the face-to-face group reported a preference for the face-to-face modality. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that telehealth was acceptable, patient comfort was comparable across modalities, and no significant technological barriers were experienced. Despite this, patients varied in their preferred interview modality, highlighting the need to tailor treatment to patient preference and circumstance. Clinical Trial: ACTRN12614001142628, http://www.anzctr.org.au/TrialSearch.aspx?searchTxt=ACTRN12614001142628&isBasic=True