JMIR Mental Health

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

JMIR Mental Health is the official journal of the Society of Digital Psychiatry

Editor-in-Chief:

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


Impact Factor 5.2

JMIR Mental Health (JMH, ISSN 2368-7959, Editor-in-Chief: John Torous, MD, MBI, Harvard Medical School, USA, Impact Factor: 5.2) is a premier PubMed/PubMed CentralMEDLINESCIE (Science Citation Index Expanded)/WoS/JCR (Journal Citation Reports), EMBASE, Sherpa/Romeo, DOAJ, PsycINFO, ESCI, EBSCO/EBSCO Essentials and 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 2023, JMH received an impact factor of 5.2

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.

Recent Articles

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Problematic Internet Use, Online Gambling and Game Addiction

For people experiencing substance use or gambling disorders, web-based peer-supported forums are a space where they can share their experiences, gather around a collective goal, and find mutual support. Web-based peer support can help to overcome barriers to attending face-to-face meetings by enabling people experiencing addiction to seek support beyond their physical location and with the benefit of anonymity if desired. Understanding who participates in web-based peer-supported forums (and how), and the principles underpinning forums, can also assist those interested in designing or implementing similar platforms.

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Mobile Health in Psychiatry

Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and stand-alone mindfulness meditation interventions are gaining empirical support for a wide variety of mental health conditions. In this study, we test the efficacy of web-based therapist-guided mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-M) for body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a psychiatric disorder characterized by preoccupations with perceived defects in appearance.

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Theme Issue 2023 : Responsible Design, Integration, and Use of Generative AI in Mental Health

Recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) language models have elevated the vision of using conversational AI support for mental health, with a growing body of literature indicating varying degrees of efficacy. In this paper, we ask when, in therapy, it will be easier to replace humans and, conversely, in what instances, human connection will still be more valued. We suggest that empathy lies at the heart of the answer to this question. First, we define different aspects of empathy and outline the potential empathic capabilities of humans versus AI. Next, we consider what determines when these aspects are needed most in therapy, both from the perspective of therapeutic methodology and from the perspective of patient objectives. Ultimately, our goal is to prompt further investigation and dialogue, urging both practitioners and scholars engaged in AI-mediated therapy to keep these questions and considerations in mind when investigating AI implementation in mental health.

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Innovations in Mental Health Systems

In many countries, healthcare professionals are legally obliged to share information from electronic health records with patients. However, concerns have been raised regarding the sharing of notes with adolescents in mental health care, and healthcare professionals have called for recommendations to guide this practice.

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Depression and Mood Disorders; Suicide Prevention

Cognitive symptoms are an underrecognized aspect of depression that are often untreated. High-frequency cognitive assessment holds promise for improving disease and treatment monitoring. Although we have previously found it feasible to remotely assess cognition and mood in this capacity, further work is needed to ascertain the optimal methodology to implement and synthesize these techniques.

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Diagnostic Tools in Mental Health

Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder characterized by significant cognitive and neurobiological alterations. Impairments in cognitive function and eye movement have been known to be promising biomarkers for schizophrenia. However, cognitive assessment methods require specialized expertise. To date, data on simplified measurement tools for assessing both cognitive function and eye movement in patients with schizophrenia are lacking.

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Depression and Mood Disorders; Suicide Prevention

There is evidence from meta-analyses and systematic reviews that digital mental health interventions for depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders tend to be cost-effective. However, no such evidence exists for guided digital mental health care in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) facing humanitarian crises, where the needs are highest. Step-by-Step (SbS), a digital mental health intervention for depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders, proved to be effective for Lebanese citizens and war-affected Syrians residing in Lebanon. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of SbS is crucial because Lebanon’s overstretched health care system must prioritize cost-effective treatment options in the face of continuing humanitarian and economic crises.

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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Stress levels and the prevalence of mental disorders in the general population have been rising in recent years. Chatbot-based interventions represent novel and promising digital approaches to improve health-related parameters. However, there is a lack of research on chatbot-based interventions in the area of mental health.

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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

The utility of brief mindfulness ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) to improve empathy and theory-of-mind has been underinvestigated, particularly in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

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Theme Issue 2023 : Responsible Design, Integration, and Use of Generative AI in Mental Health

This article explores a significant shift in the field of mental health in general and psychotherapy in particular, following generative artificial intelligence's new capabilities in processing and generating human-like language. Following Freud, this lingo-technological development is conceptualized as the "fourth narcissistic blow" that science inflicts on humanity. We argue that this narcissistic blow has a potentially dramatic influence on perceptions of human society, inter-relationships, and the self. We should, accordingly, expect dramatic changes in perceptions of the therapeutic act, following the emergence of what we terms the "artificial third" in the field of psychotherapy. The introduction of an "artificial third" marks a critical juncture, prompting us to ask important core questions which address two basic elements of critical thinking, namely, transparency and autonomy: (1) What is this new artificial presence in therapy relationships?; (2) How does it reshape our perception of ourselves and our interpersonal dynamics?; (3) What remains of the irreplaceable human elements at the core of therapy?. Given the ethical implications that arise from these questions, this article proposes that the "artificial third" can be a valuable asset when applied with insight and ethical consideration, enhancing but not replacing the human touch in therapy.

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Clinical Mental Health Informatics

The National Health Service (NHS) Talking Therapies program treats people with common mental health problems in England according to “stepped care,” in which lower-intensity interventions are offered in the first instance, where clinically appropriate. Limited resources and pressure to achieve service standards mean that program providers are exploring all opportunities to evaluate and improve the flow of patients through their service. Existing research has found variation in clinical performance and stepped care implementation across sites and has identified associations between service delivery and patient outcomes. Process mining offers a data-driven approach to analyzing and evaluating health care processes and systems, enabling comparison of presumed models of service delivery and their actual implementation in practice. The value and utility of applying process mining to NHS Talking Therapies data for the analysis of care pathways have not been studied.

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Innovations in Mental Health Systems

Compromised well-being and mental health problems pose a significant threat to individuals and societies worldwide. Resource-intensive psychological treatments alone cannot alleviate this burden. There is a need for low-cost, evidence-based interventions aimed at preventing illness and promoting well-being. Five activity domains appear to be linked with well-being promotion across populations: connecting with others, being active, taking notice, learning, and being generous/giving. The activities mentioned are part of the Five Ways to Wellbeing framework and the web-based intervention Five Ways to Wellbeing for All (5waysA).

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