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Journal Description

JMIR Aging (JA, Founding Editor-in-chief: Jing Wang, Professor and Vice Dean for Research, Hugh Roy Cullen Professor, UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing, San Antonio, TX, USA) is a new sister journal of JMIR (the leading open-access journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671), focusing on technologies, medical devices, apps, engineering, informatics applications and patient education for medicine and nursing, education, preventative interventions and clinical care / home care for elderly populations. In addition, aging-focused big data analytics using data from electronic health record systems, health insurance databases, federal reimbursement databases (e.g. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid), and other large databases are also welcome.  

As open access journal we are read by clinicians, nurses/allied health professionals, informal caregivers and patients alike and have (as all JMIR journals) a focus on readable and applied science reporting the design and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies. We publish original research, viewpoints, and reviews (both literature reviews and medical device/technology/app reviews).

During a limited period of time, there are no fees to publish in this journal. Articles are carfully copyedited and XML-tagged, ready for submission in PubMed Central.

Be a founding author of this new journal and submit your paper today!

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/portrait-of-senior-woman-texting-on-cell-phone-at-home_3115584.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Feasibility and Acceptability of Technology-Based Exercise and Posture Training in Older Adults With Age-Related Hyperkyphosis: Pre-Post Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Hyperkyphosis is common among older adults and is associated with multiple adverse health outcomes. Kyphosis-specific exercise and posture training programs improve hyperkyphosis, but in-person programs are expensive to implement and maintain over long periods. It is unclear if a technology-based posture training program disseminated through a mobile phone is a feasible or acceptable alternative to in-person training among older adults with hyperkyphosis. Objective: The primary purpose was to assess the feasibility of subject recruitment, short-term retention and adherence, and acceptability of a technology-based exercise and posture training program disseminated as video clip links and text messaging prompts via a mobile phone. The secondary purpose was to explore the potential efficacy of this program for kyphosis, physical function, and health-related quality of life in older adults with hyperkyphosis. Methods: In this 6-week pre-post design pilot trial, we recruited community-dwelling adults aged ≥65 years with hyperkyphosis ≥40° (±5°) and access to a mobile phone. The intervention had two parts: (1) exercise and posture training via video clips sent to participants daily via text messaging, including 6 weekly video clip links to be viewed on the participant’s mobile phone, and (2) text messaging prompts to practice good posture. We analyzed the subject recruitment, adherence, retention, and acceptability of the intervention. Outcomes included change in kyphometer-measured kyphosis, occiput-to-wall (OTW) distance, Short Physical Performance Battery score, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS-30) score, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression score, and Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) score. Results: A total of 64 potential participants were recruited, 17 were enrolled, and 12 completed postintervention testing at 6 weeks. The average age was 71.6 (SD 4.9) years, and 50% were women. The median adherence to daily video viewing was 100% (range, 14%-100%) and to practicing good posture at least three times per day was 71% (range, 0%-100%). Qualitative evaluation of intervention acceptability revealed that the mobile phone screen was too small for participants to view the videos well and daily prompts to practice posture were too frequent. Kyphosis, OTW distance, and physical activity significantly improved after the 6-week intervention. Kyphosis decreased by 8° (95% CI –12 to –5; P<.001), OTW decreased by 1.9 cm (95% CI –3.3 to –0.7; P=.007), and physical activity measured by PASE increased by 29 points (95% CI 3 to 54; P=.03). The health-related quality of life SRS-30 score increased by 0.11 point (SD 0.19), but this increase was not statistically significant (P=.09). Conclusions: Technology-based exercise and posture training using video clip viewing and text messaging reminders is feasible and acceptable for a small cohort of older adults with hyperkyphosis. Technology-based exercise and posture training warrants further study as a potential self-management program for age-related hyperkyphosis, which may be more easily disseminated than in-person training.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Phduet; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/concentrated-businessman-with-laptop-and-mobile-phone_962620.htm#term=phone%20bed&page=7&position=6; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Using Actigraphy to Predict the Ecological Momentary Assessment of Mood, Fatigue, and Cognition in Older Adulthood: Mixed-Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Sleep quality has been associated with cognitive and mood outcomes in otherwise healthy older adults. However, most studies have evaluated sleep quality as aggregate and mean measures, rather than addressing the impact of previous night’s sleep on next-day functioning. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the ability of previous night’s sleep parameters on self-reported mood, cognition, and fatigue to understand short-term impacts of sleep quality on next-day functioning. Methods: In total, 73 cognitively healthy older adults (19 males, 54 females) completed 7 days of phone-based self-report questions, along with 24-hour actigraph data collection. We evaluated a model of previous night’s sleep parameters as predictors of mood, fatigue, and perceived thinking abilities the following day. Results: Previous night’s sleep predicted fatigue in the morning and midday, as well as sleepiness or drowsiness in the morning; however, sleep measures did not predict subjective report of mood or perceived thinking abilities the following day. Conclusions: This study suggests that objectively measured sleep quality from the previous night may not have a direct or substantial relationship with subjective reporting of cognition or mood the following day, despite frequent patient reports. Continued efforts to examine the relationship among cognition, sleep, and everyday functioning are encouraged.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/female-nurse-using-digital-tablet-standing-in-front-of-senior-woman-sitting-on-wheelchair_2676102.htm#term=caregiver&page=4&position=6; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Health Information–Seeking Behaviors of Family Caregivers: Analysis of the Health Information National Trends Survey

    Abstract:

    Background: The growing population of aging adults relies on informal caregivers to help meet their health care needs, get help with decision making, and gather health information. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine health information–seeking behaviors among caregivers and to identify caregiver characteristics that contribute to difficulty in seeking health information. Methods: Data from the Health Information National Trends Survey 5, Cycle 1 (N=3181) were used to compare health information seeking of caregivers (n=391) with noncaregivers (n=2790). Results: Caregivers sought health information for themselves and others using computers, smartphones, or other electronic means more frequently than noncaregivers. Caregivers born outside of the United States reported greater difficulty seeking health information (beta=.42; P=.02). Nonwhite caregivers (beta =−.33; P=.03), those with less education (beta =−.35; P=.02), those with private insurance (beta =−.37; P=.01), and those without a regular health care provider (beta =−.35; P=.01) had less confidence seeking health information. Caregivers with higher income had more confidence (beta =.12; P≤.001) seeking health information. Conclusions: This study highlights the prevalence of electronic means to find health information among caregivers. Notable differences in difficulty and confidence in health information seeking exist between caregivers, indicating the need for more attention to the socioeconomic status and caregivers born outside of the United States. Findings can guide efforts to optimize caregivers’ health information–seeking experiences.

  • Participants during the Otago program at study site. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://aging.jmir.org/2018/2/e11955/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    When More Than Exercise Is Needed to Increase Chances of Aging in Place: Qualitative Analysis of a Telehealth Physical Activity Program to Improve Mobility...

    Abstract:

    Background: A telehealth-delivered physical activity program was implemented within two low-income older adult housing properties utilizing the Otago exercise program, a physical therapy program endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve balance and strengthening in community dwelling older adults and by the National Council on Aging as the highest level of evidence for fall prevention programs. Participants were also given Fitbit activity monitors to help track their activity. Objective: The goal of this project was to increase older adults’ daily physical activity in hopes of decreasing chronic disease morbidity, disability, and falls, and decrease social isolation. Methods: The Otago exercise program was conducted via telehealth twice weekly for 12 weeks. Participants also wore Fitbit activity trackers to encourage physical activity outside of the group classes. Postintervention qualitative interviews were conducted, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using discourse analysis. Results: Twenty-one older adult participants from two low-income properties in Charleston, SC, participated in the 12-week telehealth physical therapy program. Postintervention qualitative interviews revealed that the two sites were very different in their participation in the program and their main concerns surrounding aging in place. One site had a community-oriented outlook and enjoyed participating in physical activity together; whereas, the other site had very few participants and referenced depression and social isolation as main concerns. Conclusions: A telehealth physical therapy-led intervention to increase physical activity in low-income older adults aging in place was successfully implemented and attended; however, it became clear in postintervention qualitative interviews that social isolation and depression were prevalent and mental health needs to be addressed along with physical health to encourage successful aging in place.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: StartupStockPhotos; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/student-typing-keyboard-text-849825/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Informal Caregivers’ Use of Internet-Based Health Resources: An Analysis of the Health Information National Trends Survey

    Abstract:

    Background: Informal caregivers express strong interest in technology innovations to help them in their caregiving role; however, divides across sociodemographic characteristics in internet and technology access may preclude the most vulnerable caregivers from accessing such resources. Objective: This study aims to examine caregivers’ internet use, both generally and for seeking health-related information, and whether usage differs as a function of caregivers’ characteristics. Methods: Data were analyzed from the Health Information National Trends Survey 5 Cycle 1. Participants were included in analyses if they self-identified as providing uncompensated care to a close individual. Caregivers reported internet use factors, age, education, rurality, general health, distress, and objective caregiving burden. We used chi-square tests of independence with jackknife variance estimation to compare whether internet use factors differed by caregivers’ characteristics. Results: A total of 77.5% (303/391) caregivers surveyed reported ever using the internet. Of internet users, 88.1% (267/303) accessed from a home computer and 83.2% (252/303) from a mobile device. Most caregivers accessed health information for themselves (286/391, 73.1%) or others (264/391, 67.5%); fewer communicated with a doctor over the Web (148/391, 37.9%) or had a wellness app (171/391, 43.7%). Caregivers reporting younger age, more education, and good health were more likely to endorse any of these activities. Furthermore, two-thirds of caregivers (258/391, 66.0%) endorsed trust in health information from the internet. Conclusions: Computers and mobile devices are practical platforms for disseminating caregiving-related information and supportive services to informal caregivers; these modalities may, however, have a more limited reach to caregivers who are older, have less education, and are in poorer health.

  • Source: Max Pixel; Copyright: Max Pixel; URL: https://www.maxpixel.net/Vintage-Couple-Strangers-Old-People-Park-Grunge-450742; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Influence of Anthropometrics on Step-Rate Thresholds for Moderate and Vigorous Physical Activity in Older Adults: Scientific Modeling Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Adults and older adults are recommended to engage in 150 minutes of moderate (MPA) to vigorous (VPA) aerobic physical activity (MVPA) per week, with the heuristic message of 3000 steps in 30 minutes (100 steps per minute [spm]). However, this message is based on adult populations, with a paucity of research on step-rate thresholds that correspond to absolute MVPA (moderate=3 metabolic equivalents [METs], vigorous=6 METs) and relative MVPA (moderate=40% estimated METmax, vigorous=60% estimated METmax) in older persons, who have lower stride lengths and a lower exercise capacity. Also, there is a need to consider the influence of anthropometric differences when quantifying the relationship between step rate and intensity-related physical activity. Objective: This study assessed absolute and relative MVPA step-rate thresholds and anthropometric factors (ie, height, leg length, and body mass index [BMI]) in older adults. Methods: Nineteen older adults (7 females; age 69 years, SD 2, BMI 26 kg/m2, SD 4) completed a staged treadmill walking protocol: six minutes at 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, 5.6, and 6.4 km/h. Steps were manually counted and volume rate of oxygen consumed (VO2) was measured via indirect calorimetry. Aerobic fitness was estimated via the submaximal single-stage treadmill protocol. Results: When BMI was considered, mixed effects modeling revealed absolute and relative MPA step-rate thresholds of 108 spm and 117 spm, respectively. Absolute and relative VPA corresponded to step rates of 135 spm and 132 spm, respectively. Neither height nor leg length improved the ability of the model to predict stepping cadence from METs. Conclusions: In general, older adults need to walk faster than 100 spm (ie, approximately 110 spm) to reach MPA and in excess of approximately 130 spm to achieve VPA, depending on BMI status. Health care professionals and researchers should adjust cadence-based recommendations for differences in BMI in their older patients and consider using relative intensity to most appropriately tailor their physical activity recommendations.

  • Schematic ground plan as basis for the evaluation of ultrasonic whistles. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://aging.jmir.org/2018/2/e11825/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Ambient Assisted Living as Support for Aging in Place: Quantitative Users’ Acceptance Study on Ultrasonic Whistles

    Abstract:

    Background: Given the fact of an aging society, new supply measures and living concepts are needed, especially as health impairments along with care dependency increase with age. As many elderly people wish to stay at home for as long as possible, ambient assisted living (AAL) represents a support for aging in place. Objective: AAL combines medical and care technology within living environments and is, therefore, a promising approach to cope with demographic change in terms of fast-growing care needs and fewer skilled workers. Ultrasonic whistles represent one innovative technical possibility for such supportive housing solutions. Central fields of application are home automation, emergency service, and positioning. As AAL technologies affect sensitive areas of life, it is of great interest under which conditions they are accepted or rejected, taking individual user requirements into account. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate users’ perception and evaluation of ultrasonic whistles. Methods: In this study, we examined the acceptance of ultrasonic whistles in home care by function and room using a Web-based questionnaire. Besides an evaluation of the overall usefulness, we focused on the intention to use ultrasonic whistles; 270 participants assessed home automation, emergency service, and positioning as specific functions of ultrasonic whistles. Furthermore, bathroom, bedroom, and living room were evaluated as specific usage locations (rooms). With regard to the user’s perspective, the focus was set on age and attitudes toward aging of care receivers. Results: This study revealed a significant influence of function (F2,269=60.444; P<.001), room (F2,269=41.388; P<.001), and the interaction of function and room (F4,269=8.701; P<.001) on the acceptance of ultrasonic whistles. The use of emergency services within the bathroom represented the most accepted alternative, whereas positioning within the living room received the comparably lowest evaluations. Although user diversity played a minor role for acceptance overall, the assessment of single applications differed among user groups, particularly with regard to age differences (F20,500=1.988; P<.01) in the evaluation of specific installation options such as automated doors. Conclusions: The study revealed profound insights into the user-centered assessment of ultrasonic whistles in home care and discovered function and room as influencing acceptance parameters. Concerning user characteristics, age, and attitude toward aging partly affected these evaluations, forming the basis for and showing the importance of further investigations in this context.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: US Army Africa; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usarmyafrica/4601685875/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Mobile Technology for Healthy Aging Among Older HIV-Positive Black Men Who Have Sex with Men: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: People living with HIV are living longer in the United States as a result of antiretroviral therapy. Black men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionally affected by HIV and have low rates of engagement in HIV care and treatment. Mobile technology holds promise as an intervention platform; however, little is known regarding its use among older black MSM living with HIV. Objective: The goal of this study was to explore mobile technology use and narratives of aging with HIV among older black MSM to inform mobile health intervention development. Methods: A total of 12 black MSM living with HIV, aged 50 years or older, completed in-person, semistructured interviews exploring the issues of aging, HIV care engagement, and mobile technology use. The interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative research methods. Results: Men appreciated having survived the AIDS epidemic, but some expressed discomfort and ambivalence toward aging. Men described various levels of engagement in HIV care and treatment; challenges included social isolation and need for support that was not focused on HIV. Almost all described using mobile technology to engage in health care, whereas some referenced important barriers and challenges to technology use. Conclusions: Findings highlighted a high level of interest toward a mobile technology–based intervention targeting older black men but also identified barriers and challenges to using mobile technology for health care engagement. Mobile technology is well incorporated into older black MSM’s lives and shows potential as an intervention platform for addressing aging issues to enhance engagement in HIV care and treatment.

  • Alzheimer-related dementia. Source: Flickr; Copyright: McBeth; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcbeth/9741280/; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND).

    Analyzing Twitter as a Platform for Alzheimer-Related Dementia Awareness: Thematic Analyses of Tweets

    Abstract:

    Background: Dementia is a prevalent disorder among adults and often subjects an individual and his or her family. Social media websites may serve as a platform to raise awareness for dementia and allow researchers to explore health-related data. Objective: The objective of this study was to utilize Twitter, a social media website, to examine the content and location of tweets containing the keyword “dementia” to better understand the reasons why individuals discuss dementia. We adopted an approach that analyzed user location, user category, and tweet content subcategories to classify large publicly available datasets. Methods: A total of 398 tweets were collected using the Twitter search application programming interface with the keyword “dementia,” circulated between January and February 2018. Twitter users were categorized into 4 categories: general public, health care field, advocacy organization, and public broadcasting. Tweets posted by “general public” users were further subcategorized into 5 categories: mental health advocate, affected persons, stigmatization, marketing, and other. Placement into the categories was done through thematic analysis. Results: A total of 398 tweets were written by 359 different screen names from 28 different countries. The largest number of Twitter users were from the United States and the United Kingdom. Within the United States, the largest number of users were from California and Texas. The majority (281/398, 70.6%) of Twitter users were categorized into the “general public” category. Content analysis of tweets from the “general public” category revealed stigmatization (113/281, 40.2%) and mental health advocacy (102/281, 36.3%) as the most common themes. Among tweets from California and Texas, California had more stigmatization tweets, while Texas had more mental health advocacy tweets. Conclusions: Themes from the content of tweets highlight the mixture of the political climate and the supportive network present on Twitter. The ability to use Twitter to combat stigma and raise awareness of mental health indicates the benefits that can potentially be facilitated via the platform, but negative stigmatizing tweets may interfere with the effectiveness of this social support.

  • The Caregiver App (montage). Source: The Authors / Max Pixel; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://aging.jmir.org/2018/2/e12274/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Commercially Available Mobile Apps for Caregivers of People With Alzheimer Disease or Other Related Dementias: Systematic Search

    Abstract:

    Background: More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for persons with Alzheimer disease or other related dementias (ADRD). While there is good evidence to suggest that caregivers benefit from psychosocial interventions, these have primarily been delivered via face-to-face individual or group format. Alternatively, offering electronic health (eHealth) interventions may assist caregivers in providing quality care while remaining in good health. Research to date has generated little knowledge about what app features support ADRD caregivers’ behavioral changes and how developers might optimize features over the long term. Objective: There is an evident knowledge gap in the current landscape of commercially available apps, their integration of behavioral techniques, content focus, and compliance with usability recommendations. This paper systematically reviews and inventories the apps caregivers might typically be exposed to and determines the support integrated into the apps and their functionality for older adults. Methods: The search strategy was designed to mimic typical Web-based health information-seeking behavior for adults. Apps were included based on their explicit focus on ADRD caregiver knowledge and skill improvement. Two coders with expertise in behavioral interventions and eHealth pilot-tested the data extraction. One coder retained app characteristics and design features. Techniques used to promote change were determined, and 2 questions from the Mobile App Rating Scale were used to assess the app credibility and evidence base. Content topics were evaluated using a thematic framing technique, and each app was assessed using a usability heuristic checklist. Results: The search results generated 18 unique apps that met the inclusion criteria. Some apps were unavailable, and only 8 unique apps were reviewed. Of the 8, 7 (88%) apps did not state which scientific orientation was followed to develop their content. None of the apps made clinical claims of improving caregivers’ and care recipients’ overall health. All apps relied on textual information to disseminate their contents. None of the apps was trialed and evidence based. Apps included on average 7 out of 10 behavioral change techniques, 5 out of 10 C.A.R.E. (Caregivers, Aspirations, Realities, and Expectations) features, and 10 out of 18 features on the usability heuristics checklist. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that caregivers are likely to discover apps that are not actually accessible and have low or no evidence base. Apps were found to be largely static, text-based informational resources, and few supported behaviors needed to maintain caregivers’ health. While apps may be providing a high volume of information, caregivers must still navigate what resources they need with limited guidance. Finally, the commercial marketplace is addressing some of the major usability elements, but many design elements are not addressed.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: agilemktg1; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68716695@N06/29609195382; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    A Groupware Tool to Facilitate Caregiving for Home-Dwelling Frail Older Persons in the Netherlands: Mixed-Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Collaboration among informal and formal caregivers in a mixed care network of home-dwelling elderly may benefit from using a groupware app for digital networked communication (DNC). Objective: This study aimed to describe and explain differences in the use and evaluation of a DNC app by members of the care network and to come up with a list of conditions that facilitate (or restrict) the implementation of a DNC app by a home care organization. Methods: A pilot study collected information on digital communication in 7 care networks of clients of a home care organization in the Netherlands. Semistructured interviews with 4 care recipients, 7 informal carers (of which 3 spoke on behalf of the care receiver as well on account of receivers’ suffering from dementia), 3 district nurses, 5 auxiliary nurses, and 3 managers were conducted 3 times in a period of 6 months. In addition, we observed relevant workshops initiated by the home care organization and studied log-in data created by the users of the DNC app. Results: The qualitative data and the monthly retrieved quantitative log-in data revealed 3 types of digital care networks: arranging the care network, discuss the care network, and staying connected network. Differences between network types were attributed to health impairment and digital illiteracy of the care recipients, motivation of informal caregivers, and commitment of formal caregivers. The easy availability of up-to-date information, the ability to promote a sense of safety for the carers, and short communication lines in case of complex care situations were positively evaluated. Conclusions: It is concluded that digital communication is beneficial for organizing and discussing the care within a care network. More research is needed to study its impact on care burden of informal carers, on quality of care, and on quality of life of home-dwelling frail older adults.

  • The photo story intervention via tablet. Source: Pxhere; Copyright: Pxhere; URL: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/773443; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Testing a Photo Story Intervention in Paper Versus Electronic Tablet Format Compared to a Traditional Brochure Among Older Adults in Germany: Randomized...

    Abstract:

    Background: To increase effective communication in primary care consultations among older adults in Germany, the photo story is considered to be a useful tool based on Bandura’s social cognitive theory. With information technology helping to increase effective communication, the use of tablets is gaining attention in health care settings, especially with older adults. However, the effectiveness of tablet technology and photo stories has rarely been tested. Objective: The aim is to compare the effectiveness of a photo story intervention to a traditional brochure. Both were delivered either in paper or tablet format. Methods: A trial was conducted with 126 older adults, aged 50 years and older, who were approached and recruited by researchers and administrative staff from senior day care, doctors in rehabilitation centers, and trainers in sports clubs in Germany. Open and face-to-face assessment methodologies were used. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four intervention conditions: traditional brochure in paper format (condition 1) and tablet format (condition 2), and photo story in paper format (condition 3) and tablet format (condition 4). Each participant received a questionnaire and either the traditional brochure or photo story in a paper or tablet version. To evaluate the effectiveness of each intervention, participants completed evaluation questionnaires before and after each intervention. The second part of the questionnaire measured different indicators of health literacy, communication skills, health measurements, and possible underlying mechanisms. Results: Compared to the traditional brochure, participants considered the photo story easier to understand (t124=2.62, P=.01) and more informative (t124=–2.17, P=.03). Participants preferred the paper format because they found it less monotonous (t124=–3.05, P=.003), less boring (t124=–2.65, P=.009), and not too long (t124=–2.26, P=.03) compared to the tablet format. Among all conditions, the traditional brochure with a tablet (condition 2) was also perceived as more monotonous (mean 3.07, SD 1.08), boring (mean 2.77, SD 1.19), and too long to read (mean 2.50, SD 1.33) in comparison to the traditional brochure in paper format (condition 1). Moreover, the participants scored significantly higher on self-referencing on the traditional brochure in paper format (condition 1) than tablet format for both types of the brochure (conditions 2 and 4). Conclusions: Traditional brochures on a tablet seem to be the least effective communication option in primary care consultations among all conditions for older adults. The findings might be specific for the current generation of older adults in Germany and need to be replicated in other countries with larger sample sizes. Although information technology brings advantages, such as effective interventions in different fields and settings, it may also come with several disadvantages, such as technical requirements of the users and devices. These should be considered when integrating information technology into wider situations and populations. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02502292; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02502292 (Archived by Webcite at http://www.webcitation.org/747jdJ8pU)

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    Date Submitted: Jan 27, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 30, 2019 - Mar 27, 2019

    Background: Currently 6.5 million Americans are living with HF. These patients are expected to follow complex self-management regimen at home. There are several demographic and psycho-social factors...

    Background: Currently 6.5 million Americans are living with HF. These patients are expected to follow complex self-management regimen at home. There are several demographic and psycho-social factors that limit HF patients in following the prescribed self-management recommendations at home. Poor self-care is associated with increased hospital readmissions. Under the Affordable Care Act, there are financial implications related to hospital readmissions for hospitals and programs such as the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in Pinellas County, Florida. Prior studies and systematic reviews demonstrated improvement in self-management and quality of life in HF with structured telephone support and mobile messaging. Objective: Evaluate self-care, knowledge, medication adherence, and quality of life of patients with heart failure (HF) after implementing structured telephone support (STS) and mobile messaging (MM). Methods: A prospective evidenced-based quality improvement project used a pre-post design. Data was collected at baseline, 30-days and 3-months on 51 patients with HF who were enrolled in the PACE program in Pinellas County, Florida. All participants received STS and MM for 30-days. Feasibility and sustained benefit of using STS and MM was assessed at 3-month follow-up Results: A paired t-test that compared the mean difference in HF outcomes at baseline and 30-day follow-up which demonstrated improved HF self-care maintenance (t=0.66; p=0.001), HF knowledge (t=0.71; p=0.001), medication adherence (t=0.92; p=0.001), physical and mental health measured by Short-Form 12 (t= 0.81; p=0.001). The results also demonstrated sustained benefit with improved HF self-care maintenance, self-care management, and self-care confidence, knowledge, medication adherence, physical and mental health (Short From-12) at 3-months with p value <0.05 for all outcomes. Living status and social support had a strong correlation with HF outcomes. Younger participants (less than 65 years of age) performed extremely well compared to older adults. Conclusions: STS and MM was feasible to use among PACE participants with sustained benefits at 3-months. Implementing STS and MM may serve as viable options to improve HF outcomes. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Improving outcomes with HF affects hospital systems as well as those agencies that monitor and provide care for outpatients and those in independent or assisted living facilities. Investigating viable options and support for implementation will improve outcomes. Clinical Trial: n/a

  • A web-based mobile application with a smart watch to support social engagement in persons with memory loss: a pilot randomized controlled trial

    Date Submitted: Jan 16, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 21, 2019 - Mar 18, 2019

    Background: It is estimated that the number of individuals living with dementia worldwide will increase from 50 million in 2017 to 152 million by 2050. Assistive technology has been recognized as a pr...

    Background: It is estimated that the number of individuals living with dementia worldwide will increase from 50 million in 2017 to 152 million by 2050. Assistive technology has been recognized as a promising tool to improve the lives of persons living with dementia and their caregivers. The use of assistive technology in dementia care is expanding, although it is most often intended to manage care and promote safety. There is a lack of assistive technology designed to aid persons with dementia in participating in meaningful activities. Objective: The present study utilizes a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) design to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and potential effects of an assistive technology device, the Social Support Aid (SSA). The SSA is designed to assist persons with memory loss engage in social interaction. Methods: Persons with memory loss were randomized to the SSA (n=20) or the usual care control group (n=28). Quantitative data were collected at three timepoints (baseline, 3-months, and 6-months) and participants in the technology group participated in qualitative interviews following completion of their 6-month survey. Results: Participant eligibility, willingness to be randomized, and retention were not barriers to conducting a full-scale RCT; however, recruitment strategies should be addressed before doing so. Feasibility and utility scores indicated that participants felt neutral about the technology. Use of the Social Support Aid was not statistically significantly associated with changes in quality of social interactions or quality of life measures over the six months of follow-up (P > .05). The qualitative analysis revealed three themes that described how and why the SSA worked or did not: (1) outcomes (2) reasons why (not) useful and (3) recommendations. Conclusions: There is a need to develop effective assistive technology that improves the quality of life of persons with dementia. Assistive technology that allows persons living with dementia to maintain some level of autonomy should be a priority for future research. The present study suggests reasons why the Social Support Aid facial recognition software did not improve the quality of social interaction and quality of life of people with memory loss. Results also provide recommendations for future assistive technology development and evaluation. Clinical Trial: NCT03645694

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    Date Submitted: Jan 12, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 15, 2019 - Mar 12, 2019

    Background: Issues of geriatric otolaryngologic emergency have not been widely applied despite increase in geriatric population. Objective: This study aimed at determining prevalence, sociodemographic...

    Background: Issues of geriatric otolaryngologic emergency have not been widely applied despite increase in geriatric population. Objective: This study aimed at determining prevalence, sociodemographic features, aetiology, clinical features, Complications and sources ofreferral of geriatric otorhinolaryngological, head and neck emergency in our center. Methods: This was a prospective hospital based study of geriatric otorhinolaryngology emergency in the Ear, Nose and Throat Department of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital. The study was carried out between October 2016 and September 2018. Data were obtained by using pretested interviewers questionnaire.All data were collated and analyzed using SPSS version 18.0. The data were expressed by frequency table, percentage, bar charts and pie charts. Results: Geriatric otorhinolaryngology, head and neck emergency accounted for 5.3%. Major prevalence age group was 43.9% in the age group (60-64). There were 38.6% males with male to female ratio of 1:1.5. The main aetiology of geriatric otorhinolaryngology emergency was 29.5% trauma/road traffic accident/foreign body impaction and 25.8% tumour. Main anatomical distribution of geriatric otorhinolaryngology emergency were 38.6% throat diseases and 31.1% ear diseases. The most frequent clinical features were pain in 27.3%, hearing loss in 21.2%, tinnitus in 15.9%, bleeding in 14.4%, difficulty breathing in 12.9% and discharge in 11.4%. Common diagnosis in this study were 15.9% sinonasal tumour, 14.4% upper aerodigestive foreign body impaction, 10.6% earwax impaction and 19.8% otitis externa. Acute presentation (<13 weeks) occurred in 1 week in 74.2% and 2-13 weeks In 19.7%. Commonest time of presentation was daytime in 65.9%. Major sources of referral were 43.2% general practitioner and 31.1% casualty officers. Presentation of geriatric otorhinolaryngology emergency were mainly ear, nose and throat clinic in 59.8% with accident and emergency in 28.8%. Commonest associated comorbid illnesses among the geriatric patients were 18.2% hypertension, 14.4% arthritis and 9.8% diabetes mellitus. Conclusions: Geriatric otorhinolaryngological emergency are common pathology with associated with comorbid illnesses. Detailed clinical assessment are mandatory for effective management outcome.

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