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JMIR Aging

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Journal Description

JMIR Aging (JA, Founding Editor-in-chief: Jing Wang, Cizik School of Nursing, Houston TX, USA) is a new sister journal of JMIR (the leading open-access journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2016: 5.175), 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: MyTools4Care / Placeit.net; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://aging.jmir.org/2018/1/e2/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Web-Based Intervention to Help Caregivers of Older Adults With Dementia and Multiple Chronic Conditions: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Caregivers (ie, family members and friends) play a vital role in the ongoing care and well-being of community-living older persons with Alzheimer disease and related dementia in combination with multiple chronic conditions. However, they often do so to the detriment of their own physical, mental, and emotional health. Caregivers often experience multiple challenges in their caregiving roles and responsibilities. Recent evidence suggests that Web-based interventions have the potential to support caregivers by decreasing caregiver stress and burden. However, we know little about how Web-based supports help caregivers. Objective: The objectives of this paper were to describe (1) how the use of a self-administered, psychosocial, supportive, Web-based Transition Toolkit, My Tools 4 Care (MT4C), designed by atmist, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, helped caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer disease and related dementia and multiple chronic conditions; (2) which features of MT4C caregivers found most and least beneficial; and (3) what changes would they would recommend making to MT4C. Methods: This study was part of a larger multisite mixed-methods pragmatic randomized controlled trial. The qualitative portion of the study and the focus of this paper used a qualitative descriptive design. Data collectors conducted semistructured, open-ended, telephone interviews with study participants who were randomly allocated to use MT4C for 3 months. All interviews were audio-taped and ranged from 20 to 40 min. Interviews were conducted at 1 and 3 months following a baseline interview. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze collected data. Results: Fifty-six caregivers from Alberta and Ontario, Canada, participated in either one or both of the follow-up interviews (89 interviews in total). Caregivers explained that using MT4C (1) encouraged reflection; (2) encouraged sharing of caregiving experiences; (3) provided a source of information and education; (4) provided affirmation; and for some participants (5) did not help. Caregivers also described features of MT4C that they found most and least beneficial and changes they would recommend making to MT4C. Conclusions: Study results indicate that a self-administered psychosocial supportive Web-based resource helps caregivers of community-dwelling older adults with Alzheimer disease and related dementia and multiple chronic conditions with their complex caregiving roles and responsibilities. The use of MT4C also helped caregivers in identifying supports for caring, caring for self, and planning for future caregiving roles and responsibilities. Caregivers shared important recommendations for future development of Web-based supports.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: pressfoto; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/man-with-stomachache_857942.htm; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Coproduction of a Theory-Based Digital Resource for Unpaid Carers (The Care Companion): Mixed-Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Family and other unpaid carers are crucial to supporting the growing population of older people that are living outside residential care with frailty and comorbidities. The burden associated with caring affects carers’ well-being, thus limiting the sustainability of such care. There is a need for accessible, flexible, and responsive interventions that promote carers’ coping and resilience, and hence support maintenance of the health, well-being, and independence of the cared-for person. Objective: This study aimed to coproduce a digital program for carers to promote resilience and coping through supporting effective use of information and other Web-based resources. Its overlapping stages comprised the following: understanding the ways in which Web-based interventions may address challenges faced by carers, identifying target behaviors for the intervention, identifying intervention components, and developing the intervention prototype. Methods: The study was informed by person-based theories of coproduction and involved substantial patient and public involvement. It drew on the Behavior Change Wheel framework to support a systematic focus on behavioral issues relevant to caring. It comprised scoping literature reviews, interviews, and focus groups with carers and organizational stakeholders, and an agile, lean approach to information technology development. Qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic approach. Results: Four behavioral challenges were identified: burden of care, lack of knowledge, self-efficacy, and lack of time. Local health and social care services for carers were only being accessed by a minority of carers. Carers appreciated the potential value of Web-based resources but described difficulty identifying reliable information at times of need. Key aspects of behavior change relevant to addressing these challenges were education (increasing knowledge and understanding), enablement (increasing means and reducing barriers for undertaking caring roles), and persuasion (changing beliefs and encouraging action toward active use of the intervention). In collaboration with carers, this was used to define requirements for the program. A resources library was created to link to websites, Web-based guidance, videos, and other material that addressed condition-specific and generic information. Each resource was classified according to a taxonomy itemizing over 30 different subcategories of need under the headings Care Needs (of the cared-for person), General Information and Advice, and Sustaining the Carer. In addition, features such as a journal and mood monitor were incorporated to address other enablement challenges. The need for proactive, personalized prompts emerged; the program regularly prompts the carer to revisit and update their profile, which, together with their previous use of the intervention, drives notifications about resources and actions that may be of value. Conclusions: The person-based approach allowed an in-depth understanding of the biopsychosocial context of caring to inform the production of an engaging, relevant, applicable, and feasible Web-based intervention. User acceptance and feasibility testing is currently underway.

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Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:

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  • Baby Boomer Perceptions of Diabetes Online Community Credibility, Social Capital, Help and Harm is Similar to Younger Adults

    Date Submitted: Apr 25, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 26, 2018 - Jun 21, 2018

    Background: Background: The use of online health communities such as the diabetes online community (DOC) is growing. Individuals who engage in the diabetes online community (DOC) are able to interact...

    Background: Background: The use of online health communities such as the diabetes online community (DOC) is growing. Individuals who engage in the diabetes online community (DOC) are able to interact with peers who have the same medical condition. It is not known if older adults are perceiving the DOC differently than younger adults. Objective: Objective: The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to describe social capital, perceived source credibility, help and harm among DOC users, and 2) to examine differences in social capital, perceived source credibility, help and harm among baby boomer (born between 1946 and 1964) and younger adult (born between 1965-1996) DOC users. Methods: Methods: This study represents a subset of participants from a larger study of DOC users. Adults with diabetes were recruited from the DOC to participate in a cross-sectional survey. Baby boomer and younger adult demographics, eHealth use (reasons to join the DOC, DOC intensity, DOC engagement, internet social capital, and help or harm from the DOC), source credibility, health-related quality of life, and diabetes self-care were collected. We examined relationships between variables and examined differences between baby boomers and younger adults. Results: Results: Baby boomers (N=76) and younger adult counterparts (N=102) participated in this study. Participants scored their diabetes healthcare team (M=33.5, SD=8) significantly higher than the DOC (M=32, SD=6.4) with regard to competence (p<.05) and trustworthiness (diabetes healthcare team, M=36.3, SD=7.1; DOC M=33.6, SD=6.2; p<.001). High bonding and bridging social capital correlated with high DOC intensity (r=.629, p<.001 and r=.676, p<.001 and respectively) and high DOC engagement (r=.474, p<.01 and r=.507, p=<.01 and respectively). The greater majority (69.8%) reported the DOC as being helpful and 1.8% reported the DOC had caused minor harm. Baby boomers perceive DOC credibility, social capital, help and harm similarly to their younger adult counterparts. Conclusions: Conclusions: Baby boomers are using and perceiving the DOC similarly to younger adults. DOC users find the DOC to be credible, however, scored their healthcare team higher with regards to competence and trustworthiness. The DOC is beneficial with low risk and may augment current diabetes care.

  • Linking Long-Term Care Information Seekers with Providers Through Improved Internet Market Segmentation

    Date Submitted: Apr 12, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 13, 2018 - Jun 8, 2018

    Background: As the internet has become a primary communication means in the long-term care (LTC) and health care industry, better understanding of market segmentations among LTC consumers is an indisp...

    Background: As the internet has become a primary communication means in the long-term care (LTC) and health care industry, better understanding of market segmentations among LTC consumers is an indispensable step to respond to the consumers’ informational needs. Objective: This study was designed to identify underlying market segments of the LTC consumers who seek information online. Methods: Data of the U.S. adult internet users (n = 2,018) were derived from 2010 Pew Internet and America Life Project. Latent class analyses were employed to identify underlying market segments of LTC online information seekers. Results: Online LTC information seekers were classified into two sub-groups – heavy and light online information seekers. One in four heavy online information seekers used the internet for the LTC information while only 2% of the light information seeker did. The heavy information seekers also used the internet to search for all other health information such as a specific disease, treatment and medical facilities significantly more than the light information seekers. The heavy online information seekers were more likely to be younger, female, highly educated, chronic disease patients, caregivers and frequent internet users in general than the light online information seekers. Conclusions: In order to effectively communicate with their consumers, providers who target online LTC information seekers can more carefully align their informational offerings with the specific needs of each subsegment of LTC markets.

  • Does a Digital Communication Device Facilitate Caregiving to Home-dwelling Frail Older Persons? Results of a Pilot-study in the Netherlands

    Date Submitted: Apr 5, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 7, 2018 - Jun 2, 2018

    Background: Collaboration among informal and formal caregivers in a mixed care network of home-dwelling elderly may benefit from using a device for digital networked communication (dfDNC). Objective:...

    Background: Collaboration among informal and formal caregivers in a mixed care network of home-dwelling elderly may benefit from using a device for digital networked communication (dfDNC). Objective: The study aims to describe and explain differences in the use and evaluation of the dfDNC by members of the care network, and to come up with a list of conditions that facilitate (or restrict) the implementation of a dfDNC by a homecare organization. Methods: A pilot-study collected information on digital communication in seven care networks of clients of a homecare organization in the Netherlands. Semi-structured interviews with four care recipients, seven informal carers (of which three spoke on behalf of the care receiver as well because of receivers’ suffering from dementia) , three district nurses, five auxiliary nurses, and three managers were conducted three times in a period of six months. Additionally we observed relevant workshops initiated by the homecare organization, and studied login data created by the users of the dfDNC. Results: The qualitative data and monthly retrieved quantitative login data revealed three 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. Positively evaluated were 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. Improvement is needed of device functionalities related to issues of privacy. Conclusions: Based on the results, 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.

  • Older adults’ attitudes toward ambulatory technology to support monitoring and coaching of healthy behaviors

    Date Submitted: Mar 22, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Mar 24, 2018 - May 19, 2018

    Background: Prevention of functional decline demands a holistic perspective of health management. Older adults are becoming avid users of technology; however, technology is not yet largely used in sup...

    Background: Prevention of functional decline demands a holistic perspective of health management. Older adults are becoming avid users of technology; however, technology is not yet largely used in supporting self-management of health in daily life. Previous research suggests that the low adherence to these technologies is likely to be associated with the fact that opinions and wishes of the older population are not always taken into consideration when designing new technology. Objective: To investigate the wishes and expectations of older adults living independently regarding technology to support healthy behaviors, addressing nutrition, physical and cognitive function, and well-being. Methods: In-depth semi-structured interviews were performed with twelve older adults addressing four themes: (1) current practices in health management, (2) attitudes towards using technology to support health management, (3) wishes from technology, and (4) change in attitudes after actual use of technology. The fourth theme was investigated with a follow-up interview after participants had used a step counter, a smart scale and a smartphone application for one month. Data collected was analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Participants were active in self-managing their health and foresaw an added-value on using technology to support them in adopting healthier behaviors in everyday life. Attitudes and wishes differed considerably per health domain, being cognitive function the most sensitive topic. Fears from technology mentioned were: attention theft, replacement of human touch, and disuse of existing abilities. Post-interviews suggest that attitudes towards technology improve after a short period of use. Conclusions: Technology to support aging in place must target health literacy, allow personalization in the design but also in the use of the technology, and tackle existing fears concerning technology. Further research should investigate the effect of these strategies on the adherence to technology to be used in daily life. We outline a set of recommendations of interest to those involved in developing and implementing technology to the support of aging in place, focusing on acceptance, barriers and ethical concerns.

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