JMIR Mental Health

Internet interventions, technologies, and digital innovations for mental health and behavior change.

Editor-in-Chief:

John Torous, MD, MBI, Harvard Medical School, USA


Impact Factor 4.39

JMIR Mental Health (JMH, ISSN 2368-7959, Editor-in-Chief: John Torous, MD, MBI, Harvard Medical School, USA, Impact Factor: 4.39) is a premier SCIE/PubMed/Scopus-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with a unique focus on digital health/digital psychiatry/digital psychology/e-mental health, covering Internet/mobile interventions, technologies and electronic innovations (software and hardware) for mental health, including addictions, online counselling and behaviour change. This includes formative evaluation and system descriptions, theoretical papers, review papers, viewpoint/vision papers, and rigorous evaluations related to digital psychiatry, e-mental health, and clinical informatics in psychiatry/psychology. In June 2021, JMH received a substantially increased impact factor of 4.39. 

The main themes/topics covered by this journal can be found here.

JMIR Mental Health has an international author- and readership and welcomes submissions from around the world.

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 CentralSCIE (Science Citation Index Expanded)/WoS/JCR (Journal Citation Reports), EMBASE, and Scopus. JMH has also been accepted for indexing in PsycINFO.

Recent Articles

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Reviews in Digital Mental Health

Technological interventions used to treat illnesses and promote health are grouped under the umbrella term of digital therapeutics. The use of digital therapeutics is becoming increasingly common in mental health. Although many technologies are currently being implemented, research supporting their usability, efficacy, and risk requires further examination, especially for those interventions that can be used without support.

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Problematic Internet Use, Online Gambling and Game Addiction

Models based on the uniqueness of addiction processes between behavioral addictions are highly contentious, and the inclusion of gaming disorder in the addiction nosography remains controversial. An exploratory approach could clarify a hypothesized common and subjectively identifiable process in addictive behaviors and the necessarily different expressions of the disorder due to behavior specificities, in particular the sociocultural characteristics and profiles of users.

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Depression and Mood Disorders; Suicide Prevention

The study of depression and anxiety using publicly available social media data is a research activity that has grown considerably over the past decade. The discussion platform Reddit has become a popular social media data source in this nascent area of study, in part because of the unique ways in which the platform is facilitative of research. To date, no work has been done to synthesize existing studies on depression and anxiety using Reddit.

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Methods and New Tools in Mental Health Research

Machine learning (ML) offers vigorous statistical and probabilistic techniques that can successfully predict certain clinical conditions using large volumes of data. A review of ML and big data research analytics in maternal depression is pertinent and timely, given the rapid technological developments in recent years.

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Behavior Change

Bipolar disorder is a severe mental illness characterized by recurrent episodes of depressed, elevated, and mixed mood states. The addition of psychotherapy to pharmacological management can decrease symptoms, lower relapse rates, and improve quality of life; however, access to psychotherapy is limited. Mental health technologies such as smartphone apps are being studied as a means to increase access to and enhance the effectiveness of adjunctive psychotherapies for bipolar disorder. Individuals with bipolar disorder find this intervention format acceptable, but our understanding of how people utilize and integrate these tools into their behavior change and maintenance processes remains limited.

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Technology in Psychiatry/Clinical Psychology Training and Education

Virtual reality (VR) is as effective a technique as traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a promising tool for treating panic disorder symptoms because VR exposure can be safer and has better acceptability than in vivo exposure and is more immersive than exposure through imagination. CBT techniques can be delivered more effectively using VR as well. So far, VR has required high-quality devices, but the development of mobile VR technology has improved user availability. At the same time, a well-structured form of VR can be reproduced and used anywhere. This means that VR can be used to provide a self-guided form of treatment and address the high treatment costs of evidence-based therapy and the lack of professional therapists. This study aimed to investigate the potential of self-guided VR as an alternative to high-cost treatment.

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Psychotic Disorders

Negative symptoms occur in individuals at ultrahigh risk (UHR) for psychosis. Although there is evidence that observer ratings of negative symptoms are associated with level of functioning, the predictive value of subjective experience in daily life for individuals at UHR has not been studied yet.

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Intentional Self-Harm

Although nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI)—deliberate damaging of body tissue without suicidal intent—is a behavior that occurs in interaction with real-world contexts, studying NSSI in the natural environment has historically been impossible. Recent advances in real-time monitoring technologies have revolutionized our ability to do exactly that, providing myriad research and clinical practice opportunities. In this viewpoint paper, we review new research pathways to improve our ability to understand, predict, and prevent NSSI, and provide critical perspectives on the responsibilities inherent to conducting real-time monitoring studies on NSSI. Real-time monitoring brings unique opportunities to advance scientific understanding about (1) the dynamic course of NSSI, (2) the real-time predictors thereof and ability to detect acute risk, (3) the ecological validity of theoretical models, (4) the functional mechanisms and outcomes of NSSI, and (5) the promotion of person-centered care and novel technology-based interventions. By considering the opportunities of real-time monitoring research in the context of the accompanying responsibilities (eg, inclusive recruitment, sound and transparent research practices, participant safety and engagement, measurement reactivity, researcher well-being and training), we provide novel insights and resources to open the black box of daily life in the next decade(s) of NSSI research.

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Reviews in Digital Mental Health

Adolescents often present at primary care clinics with nonspecific physical symptoms when, in fact, they have at least 1 mental health or risk behavior (psychosocial) issue with which they would like help but do not disclose to their care provider. Despite global recommendations, over 50% of youths are not screened for mental health and risk behavior issues in primary care.

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Mental Health Surveillance and Epidemiology

The COVID-19 global pandemic has increased the burden of mental illness on Canadian adults. However, the complex combination of demographic, economic, and lifestyle factors and perceived health risks contributing to patterns of anxiety and depression has not been explored.

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Methods and New Tools in Mental Health Research

Previous studies have suggested that social media data, along with machine learning algorithms, can be used to generate computational mental health insights. These computational insights have the potential to support clinician-patient communication during psychotherapy consultations. However, how clinicians perceive and envision using computational insights during consultations has been underexplored.

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