JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting

Improving pediatric and adolescent health outcomes and empowering and educating parents

Editor-in-Chief:

Sherif Badawy, MS, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago


JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting (JPP) is an open access journal. JPP has a unique focus on technologies, medical devices, apps, engineering, informatics applications for patient/parent education, training, counselling, behavioral interventions, preventative interventions and clinical care for pediatric and adolescent populations or child-parent dyads. JPP recognizes the role of patient- and parent-centered approaches in the 21st century using information and communication technologies to optimize pediatric and adolescent health outcomes.

As an open access journal, we are read by clinicians, patients, and parents/caregivers alike. We, as all journals published by JMIR Publications, have a focus on 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). The journal is indexed in PMC and PubMed. JPP has no submission fee. 

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Recent Articles

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Virtual Reality in Pediatrics

Virtual reality (VR) has shown promise in reducing children’s pain and anxiety during venipuncture, but studies on VR lack objective observations of pediatric coping. Notably, the process of capturing objective behavioral coping data can be labor- and personnel-intensive.

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Parent and Child Education on Physical Activity

Effectively scaled-up physical activity interventions are urgently needed to address the high prevalence of physical inactivity. To facilitate scale-up of an efficacious school-based physical activity program (Physical Activity 4 Everyone [PA4E1]), provision of implementation support to physical education (PE) teachers was adapted from face-to-face and paper-based delivery modes to partial delivery via a website. A lack of engagement (usage and subjective experience) with digital delivery modes, including websites, may in part explain the typical reduction in effectiveness of scaled-up interventions that use digital delivery modes. A process evaluation focused on the PA4E1 website was undertaken.

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General Articles

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a great number of papers have been published in the pediatric field.

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Child Abuse and Neglect

We examined internet searches indicative of abusive parental behaviors before and after the World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic (March 11, 2020) and subsequent lockdown measures in many countries worldwide. Using Google Trends, we inferred search trends between December 28, 2018, and December 27, 2020, for queries consisting of “mother,” “father,” or “parents” combined with each of the 11 maltreatment-related verbs used in the Conflict Tactics Scales, Parent-Child version. Raw search counts from the Google Trends data were estimated using Comscore. Of all 33 search terms, 28 terms showed increases in counts after the lockdowns began. These findings indicate a strong increase in internet searches relating to occurrence, causes, or consequences of emotional and physical maltreatment since the lockdowns began and call for the use of maltreatment-related queries to direct parents or children to online information and support.

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Mobile Health and Apps for Maternal and Child Health

When children suffer sudden illness or injury, many parents wonder whether they should go to the hospital immediately or call an ambulance. In 2015, we developed a mobile app that allows parents or guardians to determine the urgency of their child’s condition or call an ambulance and that indicates available hospitals and clinics when their child is suddenly sick or injured by simple selection of the child’s chief complaints and symptoms. However, the effectiveness of medical apps used by the general public has not been well evaluated.

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JPP Theme Issue 2020-21: Digital Approaches for Pediatric Healthcare Delivery during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

Behavioral health disorders have steadily increased and been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though behavioral health disorders can be successfully mitigated with early implementation of evidence-based parent management strategies, education for pediatric residents on behavioral health anticipatory guidance has been limited to date, with training challenges compounded by the physical distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual reality (VR) simulations provide an opportunity to train residents on this complex competency by allowing deliberate practice of necessary skills while adhering to current social distancing guidelines.

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JPP Theme Issue 2020-21: Digital Approaches for Pediatric Healthcare Delivery during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures have severely affected families around the world. It is frequently assumed that digital technologies can supplement and perhaps even replace services for families. This is challenging in conditions of high device and data costs as well as poor internet provision and access, raising concerns about widening inequalities in availability of support and consequent effects on child and family outcomes. Very few studies have examined these issues, including in low- and middle-income countries.

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Mental Health Issues in Adolescence

Across the United States, the incidence of adolescent depression and suicide cases has risen in the past 10 years. Despite the risk factors and causes being multifactorial, the influence of popular culture on society and adolescents in this media-driven generation cannot be mitigated. Although the impact of social media and its effect on shaping self-identity in adolescents have been observed, the impact of music and its potential for subliminal negative messages to adolescents remains unclear.

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Caregiving and Parenting for Chronic Pediatric Diseases

Ten million parents provide unpaid care to children living with chronic conditions, such as asthma, and a high percentage of these parents are in marginalized communities, including racial and ethnic minority and low-income families. There is an urgent need to develop technology-enabled tailored solutions to support the self-care needs of these parents.

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Asthma Education and Self-Management in Childhood and Adolescence

Since 2020, peoples’ lifestyles have been largely changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. In the medical field, although many patients prefer remote medical care, this prevents the physician from examining the patient directly; thus, it is important for patients to accurately convey their condition to the physician. Accordingly, remote medical care should be implemented and adaptable home medical devices are required. However, only a few highly accurate home medical devices are available for automatic wheeze detection as an exacerbation sign.

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General Parenting Education and Training

Abusive head trauma (AHT) is a serious health problem affecting more than 3000 infants annually in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that health care providers counsel new parents about the dangers of AHT. Previous studies demonstrate that parental education is effective at reducing AHT events. South Carolina law requires hospitals to offer all new parents with the opportunity to watch an educational video about AHT. This mandate is addressed in different ways at the several delivery centers within a large South Carolina health care system with a range of viewing methods utilized, from DVD players to mobile workstations to personal devices. Frequent technical barriers and workflow inefficiencies resulted in low rates of compliance with this mandate at several campuses. To improve compliance of parent viewing of this educational video, the health care system standardized video viewing protocol across all campuses by implementing the use of iPads for parental education. Existing literature suggests that patient education can be improved in the hospital setting by utilizing tablet computers, but our literature search identified a gap in research around the education of parents and caregivers during hospitalization for childbirth. We used the implementation of an iPad-based parental education delivery protocol to evaluate whether tablet computers can improve compliance with delivering new parent education in the hospital setting.

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