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Journal Description

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:

  • Source: Unsplash; Copyright: Steiner Engeland; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Association of Social Media Use and High-Risk Behaviors in Adolescents: Cross-Sectional Study


    Background: Previous studies have demonstrated the prevalence of social media use and identified the presence of high-risk behaviors among adolescents, including self-harm and sharing of sexually explicit messages. Objective: This study aimed to identify patterns in the amount of time spent on social media by adolescents who engage in high-risk behavior and the extent to which they use social media as a platform for sharing such behaviors. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 179 adolescents seen in a pediatric clinic at an urban medical center. We used an anonymous self-report survey to obtain demographic characteristics, rates of self-harm thoughts and behaviors, sharing of sexually explicit messages, and social media use as determined by total hours spent on social media per day and the number of applications used. Results: Most adolescents reported spending 3 to 5 hours on social media each day and using 3 or more social media applications. Almost 1 in 8 (22/179, 12.3%) adolescents self-reported having ever engaged in self-injury with a mean age of onset of 11.8 years. Over a quarter (49/179, 27.4%) of adolescents reported sharing sexually explicit messages. Relative risk of engaging in self-injury and or sharing sexually explicit messages increased with the use of 4 or more social media applications (1.66; CI 1.11-2.48). Conclusions: Results show a relationship between the number of social media applications used and increased rates of high-risk behaviors. We identified relevant risk factors that clinicians can use to screen for high-risk behavior and parents can monitor to encourage education about healthy online practices.

  • Source: Getty Images / Canva; Copyright: Jacob Ammentorp Lund; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    College Student Problematic Internet Use and Digital Communication Medium Used With Parents: Cross-Sectional Study


    Background: Problematic internet use (PIU) is associated with mental health concerns such as depression and affects more than 12% of young adults. Few studies have explored potential influences of parent–college student digital communication on college students’ risk of PIU. Objective: This study sought to understand the relationship between parent–college student digital communication frequency via phone calls, text messages, and Facebook contacts and PIU among college students. Methods: Incoming first-year students were randomly selected from registrar lists of a midwestern and northwestern university for a 5-year longitudinal study. Data from interviews conducted in summer 2014 were used. Measures included participants’ daily Facebook visits, communication frequency with parents via phone call and text message, and 3 variables related to Facebook connection status and communication: (1) parent–college student Facebook friendship status, (2) college student blocking personal Facebook content from parent, and (3) Facebook communication frequency. PIU risk was assessed using the Problematic and Risky Internet Use Screening Scale. Analysis included participants who reported visiting Facebook at least once per day. Multiple linear regression was used, followed by a post hoc mediation with Hayes process macro to further investigate predictive relationships among significant variables. Results: A total of 151 participants reported daily Facebook use and were included in analyses. Among these participants, 59.6% (90/151) were female, 62.3% (94/151) were from the midwestern university, and 78.8% (119/151) were white. Mean Facebook visits per day was 4.3 (SD 3.34). There was a collective significant effect between participant daily Facebook visits, college student–parent phone calls, texts, and all 3 Facebook connection variables (F6,144=2.60, P=.02, R2=.10). Phone calls, text messages, and Facebook contacts were not associated with PIU risk. However, two individual items were significant predictors for PIU: participant daily Facebook visits were positively associated with increased PIU risk (b=0.04, P=.006) and being friends with a parent on Facebook was negatively associated with PIU risk (b=–0.66, P=.008). Participant daily Facebook visits were not a significant mediator of the relationship between college student–parent Facebook friendship and PIU risk (b=–0.04; 95% CI –0.11 to 0.04). Conclusions: This study did not find support for a relationship between parent–college student digital communication frequency and PIU among college students. Instead, results suggested Facebook friendship may be a protective factor. Future studies should examine how a parent-child Facebook friendship might protect against PIU among children at varying developmental stages.

  • Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: The Authors / Placeit; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    An App for Identifying Children at Risk for Developmental Problems Using Multidimensional Computerized Adaptive Testing: Development and Usability Study


    Background: The use of multidomain developmental screening tools is a viable strategy for pediatric professionals to identify children at risk for developmental problems. However, a specialized multidimensional computer adaptive testing (MCAT) tool has not been developed to date. Objective: We developed an app using MCAT, combined with Multidimensional Screening in Child Development (MuSiC) for toddlers, to help patients and their family members or clinicians identify developmental problems at an earlier stage. Methods: We retrieved 75 item parameters from the MuSiC literature item bank for 1- to 3-year-old children, and simulated 1000 person measures from a normal standard distribution to compare the efficiency and precision of MCAT and nonadaptive testing (NAT) in five domains (ie, cognitive skills, language skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and socioadaptive skills). The number of items saved and the cutoff points for the tool were determined and compared. We then developed an app for a Web-based assessment. Results: MCAT yielded significantly more precise measurements and was significantly more efficient than NAT, with 46.67% (=(75-40)/75) saving in item length when measurement differences less than 5% were allowed. Person-measure correlation coefficients were highly consistent among the five domains. Significantly fewer items were answered on MCAT than on NAT without compromising the precision of MCAT. Conclusions: Developing an app as a tool for parents that can be implemented with their own computers, tablets, or mobile phones for the online screening and prediction of developmental delays in toddlers is useful and not difficult.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Quality of Pregnancy Dating and Obstetric Interventions During Labor: Retrospective Database Analysis


    Background: The correct dating of pregnancy is critical to support timely decisions and provide obstetric care during birth. The early obstetric ultrasound assessment before 14 weeks is considered the best reference to assist in determining gestational age (GA), with an accuracy of ±5 to 7 days. However, this information is limited in many settings worldwide. Objective: The aim of this study is to analyze the association between the obstetric interventions during childbirth and the quality of GA determination, according to the first antenatal ultrasound assessment, which assisted the calculation. Methods: This is a hospital-based cohort study using medical record data of 2113 births at a perinatal referral center. The database was separated into groups and subgroups of analyses based on the reference used by obstetricians to obtain GA at birth. Maternal and neonatal characteristics, mode of delivery, oxytocin augmentation, and forceps delivery were compared between groups of pregnancies with GA determination at different reference points: obstetric ultrasound assessment 14 weeks, 20 weeks, and ≥20 weeks or without antenatal ultrasound (suboptimal dating). Ultrasound-based GA information was associated with outcomes between the interest groups using chi-square tests, odds ratios (OR) with 95% CI, or the Mann-Whitney statistical analysis. Results: The chance of nonspontaneous delivery was higher in pregnancies with 14 weeks ultrasound-based GA (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.35-1.98) and 20 weeks ultrasound-based GA (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.31-1.90) when compared to the pregnancies with ≥20 weeks ultrasound-based GA or without any antenatal ultrasound. The use of oxytocin for labor augmentation was higher for 14 weeks and 20 weeks ultrasound-based GA, OR 1.41 (95% CI 1.09-1.82) and OR 1.34 (95% CI 1.04-1.72), respectively, when compared to those suboptimally dated. Moreover, maternal blood transfusion after birth was more frequent in births with suboptimal ultrasound-based GA determination (20/657, 3.04%) than in the other groups (14 weeks ultrasound-based GA: 17/1163, 1.46%, P=.02; 20 weeks ultrasound-based GA: 25/1456, 1.71%, P=.048). Cesarean section rates between the suboptimal dating group (244/657, 37.13%) and the other groups (14 weeks: 475/1163, 40.84%, P=.12; 20 weeks: 584/1456, 40.10%, P=.20) were similar. In addition, forceps delivery rates between the suboptimal dating group (17/657, 2.6%) and the other groups (14 weeks: 42/1163, 3.61%, P=.24; 20 weeks: 46/1456, 3.16%, P=.47) were similar. Neonatal intensive care unit admission was more frequent in newborns with suboptimal dating (103/570, 18.07%) when compared with the other groups (14 weeks: 133/1004, 13.25%, P=.01; 20 weeks: 168/1263, 13.30%, P=.01), excluding stillbirths and major fetal malformations. Conclusions: The present analysis highlighted relevant points of health care to improve obstetric assistance, confirming the importance of early access to technologies for pregnancy dating as an essential component of quality antenatal care.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Mathieu Monsauret; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial (CC-BY-NC).

    Using Digital Media to Empower Adolescents in Smoking Prevention: Mixed Methods Study


    Background: There is a critical need for effective health education methods for adolescent smoking prevention. The coproduction of antismoking videos shows promising results for adolescent health education. Objective: This study explored the feasibility of a smoking prevention program using the coproduction of antismoking videos in order to empower adolescents in smoking prevention and tobacco control. A smoking prevention program based on coproduction of antismoking videos over eight sessions was implemented in a low-income neighborhood. Methods: A mixed methods design with a concurrent embedded approach was used. In total, 23 adolescents participated in the program. During the prevention program, small groups of participants used video cameras and laptops to produce video clips containing antismoking messages. Quantitative data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test to examine changes in participants’ psychological empowerment levels between pre- and postintervention; qualitative interview data were analyzed using content analysis. Results: Pre- and postcomparison data revealed that participants’ psychological empowerment levels were significantly enhanced for all three domains—intrapersonal, interactional, and behavioral—of psychological empowerment (P<.05). Interviews confirmed that the coproduction of antismoking videos is feasible in empowering participants, by supporting nonsmoking behaviors and providing them with an opportunity to help build a smoke-free community. Conclusions: Both quantitative and qualitative data supported the feasibility of the coproduction of antismoking videos in empowering adolescents in smoking prevention. Coproduction of antismoking videos with adolescents was a beneficial health education method.

  • Source: freepik; Copyright: freepik; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Families’ Degree of Satisfaction With Pediatric Telehomecare: Interventional Prospective Pilot Study in Catalonia


    Background: Pediatric home hospitalization improves the quality of life of children and their families, involving them in their children’s care, while favoring the work-life balance of the family. In this context, technology guarantees accessibility to assistance, which provides security to users. From the perspective of the health care system, this could lower the demand for hospital services and reduce hospitalization costs. Objective: This study aimed to assess families’ degree of satisfaction and acceptability of pediatric telehomecare and explore the clinical characteristics of children benefiting from the program. Methods: A total of 95 children and their families participated in the home-hospitalization pilot program operated by Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona, Spain. Families were visited once a day and patients were monitored using a kit consisting of a scale, a thermometer, a pulse oximeter, and a blood pressure monitor. Data on parental experience, satisfaction, safety, and preference for care was collected by means of a questionnaire. Data about the children’s characteristics were collected from medical records. Descriptive and comparative statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: A total of 65 survey respondents expressed very high levels of satisfaction. Families reported their experiences as being very positive, preferring home hospitalization in 94% (61/65) of cases, and gave high scores regarding the use of telemonitoring devices. The program did not record any readmissions after 72 hours and reported a very low number of adverse incidents. The user profile was very heterogeneous, highlighting a large number of respiratory patients and patients with infections that required endovenous antibiotic therapy. Conclusions: Pediatric home hospitalization through telemonitoring is a feasible and desirable alternative to traditional hospitalization, both from the perspective of families and the hospital. The results of this analysis showed a very high degree of satisfaction with the care received and that the home-based telemonitoring system resulted in few adverse incidents.

  • TOC image. Source: iStock by Getty Images; Copyright:; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Hidden Communities of Practice in Social Media Groups: Mixed Methods Study


    Background: Although most US mothers initiate breastfeeding, suboptimal breastfeeding rates still exist. Although breastfeeding is a complex process, social support has been linked with increases in positive breastfeeding outcomes. Recent technological advances, including the development of social networking sites, provide mothers with convenient access to a unique array of audiences from which to seek advice about parenting, including breastfeeding. However, little is known about how the use of the sites—specifically groups centered around breastfeeding—influences breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, or behaviors. Objective: This mixed methods study aimed to explore utilization of an existing probreastfeeding Facebook group and how utilization influences breastfeeding-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Methods: Participants were recruited online through Facebook wall posts from within the existing group. Mothers aged between 18 and 50 years who were pregnant and intended to breastfeed, were currently breastfeeding, or had recently weaned their infant in the past 3 years were eligible to participate. Participants engaged in online focus group discussions (n=21) and individual interviews (n=12). Inductive content analysis of qualitative data led to the conceptualization and contextualization of a breastfeeding community of practice (COP). Using qualitative results, a quantitative survey was then developed to assess the prevalence of qualities of a COP as well as how COP usage influenced breastfeeding-related attitudes and knowledge. A total of 314 mothers completed the online survey. Results: Qualitative findings showed an overall sense of community, with subthemes of group trust, interaction, and the promotion of breastfeeding. A majority (287/314, 91.5%) of mothers initiated breastfeeding, with 69.0% (216/314) of mothers reporting exclusive breastfeeding their infant at 6 months. Approximately 98.5% (309/314) of mothers reported that the Facebook group captured and stored knowledge; therefore, information could be easily accessed and applied. In addition, 96.2% (302/317) of mothers reported that the Facebook group motivated them to share breastfeeding-related knowledge. Conclusions: The results suggest that this existing probreastfeeding Facebook group exhibits characteristics of an online COP, which was organically formed. Utilization of the Facebook group, in the context of an online COP, could be beneficial in impacting breastfeeding-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. However, further examination and exploration of breastfeeding COPs, including using this type of model as a method of lactation support or as a telemedicine framework, is a clear need.

  • Source: Unsplash; Copyright: CDC; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Perspectives of Nurses and Doulas on the Use of Information and Communication Technology in Intercultural Pediatric Care: Qualitative Pilot Study


    Background: Sweden is rapidly becoming an increasingly multicultural and digitalized society. Encounters between pediatric nurses and migrant mothers, who are often primary caregivers, are impeded by language problems and cultural differences. To support mothers, doulas, who are women having the same linguistic and cultural backgrounds, serve as cultural bridges in interactions with health care professionals. In addition, information and communication technology (ICT) can potentially be used to manage interactions owing to its accessibility. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the role of ICT in managing communicative challenges related to language problems and cultural differences in encounters with migrant mothers from the perspectives of Swedish pediatric nurses and doulas. Methods: Deep semistructured interviews with five pediatric nurses and four doulas from a migrant-dense urban area in western Sweden were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: The results showed that ICT contributes to mitigating communicative challenges in interactions by providing opportunities for nurses and migrant mothers to receive distance interpreting via telephones and to themselves interpret using language translation apps. Using images and films from the internet is especially beneficial while discussing complex and culturally sensitive issues to complement or substitute verbal messages. These findings suggest that ICT helps enable migrant mothers to play a more active role in interactions with health care professionals. This has important implications for their involvement in other areas, such as child care, language learning, and integration in Sweden. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that ICT can be a bridging tool between health care professionals and migrants. The advantages and disadvantages of translation tools should be discussed to ensure that quality communication occurs in health care interactions and that health information is accessible. This study also suggests the development of targeted multimodal digital support, including pictorial and video resources, for pediatric care services.

  • “It Doesn’t Have To Hurt” video (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Implementation Effectiveness of a Parent-Directed YouTube Video (“It Doesn’t Have To Hurt”) on Evidence-Based Strategies to Manage Needle Pain:...


    Background: Despite the availability of high-quality evidence and clinical practice guidelines for the effective management of pediatric pain, this evidence is rarely used in practice for managing children’s pain from needle procedures such as vaccinations. Parents are generally unaware of pain management strategies they can use with their children. Objective: This study aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate the implementation effectiveness of a parent-directed YouTube video on evidence-based strategies to manage needle pain in children. Methods: This was a descriptive study. Analytics were extracted from YouTube to describe video reach. A Web-based survey was used to seek parent and health care professional (HCP) feedback about the video. The 2-minute 18-second video was launched on YouTube on November 4, 2013. In the video, a 4-year-old girl tells parents what they should and should not do to help needles hurt less. The key evidence-based messages shared in the video were distraction, deep breathing, and topical anesthetic creams. A group of parents (n=163) and HCPs (n=278) completed the Web-based survey. Measures of reach included number of unique views, country where the video was viewed, sex of the viewer, and length of watch time. The Web-based survey assessed implementation outcomes of the video, such as acceptability, appropriateness, penetration, and adoption. Results: As of November 4, 2018 (5 years after launch), the video had 237,132 unique views from 182 countries, with most viewers watching an average of 55.1% (76/138 seconds) of the video. Overall, both parents and HCPs reported strong acceptance of the video (ie, they liked the video, found it helpful, and felt more confident) and reported significant improvements in plans to use distraction, deep breathing, and topical anesthetic creams. Conclusions: This parent-directed YouTube video was an acceptable and appropriate way to disseminate evidence about the procedure of pain management to a large number of parents.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: peoplecreations; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Web-Based Intervention for Youth With Physical Disabilities: Comparing the Role of Mentors in 12- and 4-Week Formats


    Background: Youths with physical disabilities face many barriers in society, including social exclusion, stigma, and difficulties finding employment. Electronic mentoring (e-mentoring) offers a promising opportunity for youths with disabilities and has the potential to improve their inclusion while enhancing career outcomes. However, little is known about the role of mentors in a Web-based e-mentoring format to improve employment outcomes. Objective: This study aimed to explore the role of mentors in engaging youths in an e-mentoring intervention and to compare and contrast mentors’ engagement strategies within a 12- and 4-week format. Methods: This paper drew on a pilot feasibility study, which is a group, Web-based employment readiness intervention involving a discussion forum for youths with physical disabilities. Our intervention involved having trained youth mentors (ie, near-peers who also had a disability) lead Web-based discussion forums while offering peer support and resources, which involved 12 modules completed over both a 12- or 4-week format. We used a mixed method approach including qualitative data (mentor interviews and discussion forum data) and quantitative data (pre-post survey data) comparison. Results: A total of 24 youths participated across 3 e-mentoring intervention groups: 9 in the 12-week format (mean age 17.7 years [SD 1.7]) and 15 in the 4-week format (mean age 19.5 years [SD 2.6]), led by 3 trained youth mentors with disabilities, 2 males and 1 female (mean age 22 years [SD 2.64]). Our findings revealed that mentors engaged youths in the e-mentoring program by providing informational, emotional, and tangible support. We noted more instances of mentors providing advice, empathy, and encouragement in the 12-week format compared with the 4-week format. We also found fewer examples of providing advice, developing a rapport, and social support from mentors in the 4-week format. Our findings revealed no significant differences between the 2 groups regarding time spent in the forum, number of logins, number of posts, and self-rated engagement. Conclusions: Mentors in the 12-week and 4-week format engaged participants differently in providing informational and emotional support, although there were no differences in tangible support provided. Mentors reported that the 12-week format was too long and lacked interaction between participants, whereas the 4-week format felt rushed and had fewer detailed responses from mentees.

  • Source: The Authors /; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Web-Based Technology to Improve Disease Knowledge Among Adolescents With Sickle Cell Disease: Pilot Study


    Background: Advancements in treatment have contributed to increased survivorship among children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Increased transition readiness, encompassing disease knowledge and self-management skills before transfer to adult care, is necessary to ensure optimal health outcomes. The Sickle Cell Transition E-Learning Program (STEP) is a public, Web-based, 6-module tool designed to increase transition readiness for youth with SCD. Objective: The objective of our study was to investigate the participation rate of youth with SCD in STEP and its association with transition readiness. Methods: This was a single-center, Institution Review Board–approved, retrospective cohort review. A total of 183 youths with SCD, aged between 12 and 15 years, were offered STEP as an adjunct to in-clinic disease education sessions. Participation rate (number of patients who used at least one STEP module divided by those approached) was calculated. The association among the number of STEP modules completed, disease knowledge, and self-management was explored. Results: Overall, 53 of the 183 approached adolescents completed at least one STEP module, yielding a participation rate in STEP of 29.0%. Of the 53 participants, 37 and 39 adolescents had disease knowledge and self-management confidence rating available, respectively. A positive correlation (r=0.47) was found between the number of STEP modules completed and disease knowledge scores (P=.003). No association was found between the number of modules completed and self-management confidence ratings. Disease knowledge scores were significantly higher among participants who completed ≥3 STEP modules compared with those who completed <3 STEP modules (U=149.00; P=.007). Conclusions: Improvement in disease knowledge in adolescence is critical to ensure the youth’s ability to self-care during the period of transition to adult care. Despite low participation, the cumulative exposure to the STEP program suggested greater promotion of disease knowledge among adolescents with SCD before transfer to adult care.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Jankrajangfha; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Voices in Evidence-Based Newborn Care: A How-to-Guide on Developing a Parent-Facing Podcast


    Podcasting is becoming a more popular form of media. Its use in medical education is being researched—but what about its use in public education? In this tutorial, the authors offer a how-to-guide on starting a public or patient-facing podcast. The authors hope to inspire more physicians to utilize this type of media to share evidence-based information. More research is needed looking into how podcasting can be used to help with patient education.

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