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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: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Psychosocial Challenges and Opportunities for Youth With Chronic Health Conditions During the COVID-19 Pandemic


    School closures, altered access to health services, and economic stress during the COVID-19 pandemic have likely had an impact on the mental and physical well-being of youth worldwide, particularly among those with chronic health conditions (CHCs). A number of challenges and opportunities have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic for youth with CHCs. Challenges include heightened anxiety, disrupted routines, academic and social stresses associated with school closure, increased risk of domestic violence and abuse, and reduced access to physical and psychosocial support. On the other hand, opportunities include reduced academic and social stress, increased time with families, reduced access to substances, easier access to health care using technology, and opportunities to build resilience. This viewpoint paper highlights both challenges and opportunities for youth with CHCs during the pandemic and offers recommendations for further research and clinical care.

  • Source: Burst; Copyright: Tomáš Hustoles; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Patient and Clinician Perspectives on Adolescent Opioid Use Disorder Treatment During a Pandemic: One Step Back, but Two Forward?


    Opioid use disorder (OUD) is one of the most pressing public health problems in the United States and is highly prevalent among adolescents and young adults (AYAs). However, only a small percentage of AYAs with OUD ever receive treatment. Further, among those that do receive treatment, a substantial proportion of patients continue to struggle with OUD, and many prematurely drop out of treatment. These challenges have only been heightened in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but greater utilization of telehealth and mobile technologies by OUD patients may help counter these barriers, which ultimately may improve AYA OUD treatment in the postpandemic period. This viewpoint presents the perspective of a person in OUD recovery using online and mobile technology to support his own OUD recovery combined with thoughts from two clinicians supporting AYAs with OUD. Their perspectives may provide insights to help counter COVID-19–related consequences and offer clues to improving AYA OUD treatment in the long term.

  • Young family with parents reading online material. Source: iStock by Getty Images; Copyright: fizkes; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Development of a Web-Based Resource for Parents of Young Children Newly Diagnosed With Autism: Participatory Research Design


    Background: The internet provides an ideal avenue to share information, advice, and support regarding autism. However, many websites lack quality control and rarely provide a one-stop resource for families to access necessary, evidence-based information. Objective: This study aims to use participatory action research (PAR) with end users (ie, parents) and clinicians to develop a web-based resource (Pathways Beyond Diagnosis) to improve timely access to quality, evidence-based information, and support for families after their child is diagnosed with autism. Methods: The PAR approach involves 4 phases: (1) cooperative researcher-stakeholder planning, (2) cooperative researcher-stakeholder–based action, (3) stakeholder observation, and (4) cooperative researcher-stakeholder reflection. A total of 15 participants (parents, n=3; clinicians, n=9; and researchers, n=3) attended individual or group participatory design workshops. This was followed by the translation of knowledge and ideas generated during the workshops to produce mockups of webpages and content, rapid prototyping, and one-on-one consultations with end users to assess the usability of the website developed. Results: A total of 3 participatory design workshops were held with the participants, each followed by a knowledge translation session. At the end of the PAR cycle, an alpha prototype of the website was built and a series of one-on-one end user consultation sessions were conducted. The PAR cycle revealed the importance of 6 key topic areas (understanding autism, accessing services, support, gaining funding, putting it all together, and looking into the future) associated with the time of diagnosis, which were incorporated into the beta version of the website. Conclusions: The development of the Pathways Beyond Diagnosis website using PAR ensures that families have ready access to practical and evidence-based information following a young child’s diagnosis. The website guides families to access relevant, reputable, and evidence-based information in addition to summarizing key challenges encountered after diagnosis (ie, grief, sharing the diagnosis) and the importance of self-care.

  • Source:; Copyright: Tanya McCallum; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Smart Indigenous Youth: The Smart Platform Policy Solution for Systems Integration to Address Indigenous Youth Mental Health

    Authors List:


    Indigenous youth mental health is an urgent public health issue, which cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all approach. The success of health policies in Indigenous communities is dependent on bottom-up, culturally appropriate, and strengths-based prevention strategies. In order to maximize the effectiveness of these strategies, they need to be embedded in replicable and contextually relevant mechanisms such as school curricula across multiple communities. Moreover, to engage youth in the twenty-first century, especially in rural and remote areas, it is imperative to leverage ubiquitous mobile tools that empower Indigenous youth and facilitate novel Two-Eyed Seeing solutions. Smart Indigenous Youth is a 5-year community trial, which aims to improve Indigenous youth mental health by embedding a culturally appropriate digital health initiative into school curricula in rural and remote Indigenous communities in Canada. This policy analysis explores the benefits of such upstream initiatives. More importantly, this article describes evidence-based strategies to overcome barriers to implementation through the integration of citizen science and community-based participatory research action.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Pabak Sarkar; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Harnessing Phones to Target Pediatric Populations with Socially Complex Needs: Systematic Review


    Background: Mobile and smartphones are owned and accessed by many, making them a potentially optimal delivery mechanism to reach pediatric patients with socially complex needs (ie, pediatric populations who face overlapping adversities). Objective: To address the specialized needs of youth from such groups, this review synthesized the literature exploring the use of phone-based delivery to access pediatric populations with socially complex needs, targeting mental and behavioral health outcomes. The purpose of this synthesis was to provide recommendations for future research developing phone-based interventions for youth with socially complex needs. Methods: A trained medical librarian conducted the search strategy in the following databases: PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Google Scholar. Studies targeting youth with socially complex needs were defined by recruiting samples that were primarily from traditionally underserved populations (ie, sex/gender minorities, racial/ethnic background, low socioeconomic status, rural/remote location, and sexual orientation). A systematic narrative framework was utilized and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed (registration number CRD42020141212). Results: A total of 14 studies met the inclusion criteria, with 3 depicting the use of phones to complete assessment and tracking goals and 11 to intervene on mental and behavioral health targets. Conclusions: The literature indicates important directions for future research, including (1) involving diverse and representative teens (ie, the likely users of the interventions), stakeholders, and clinical/research staff; (2) integrating evidence-based therapies with minority-focused theories; (3) harnessing mobile device capabilities; and (4) considering and assessing for potential costs in phones as delivery mechanisms. Clinical Trial: PROSPERO CRD42020141212;

  • Source: iStock by Getty Images; Copyright: SDI Productions; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Mobile Health in Development of an Exclusive Breastfeeding Tool: Focus Group Study With Caregivers and Health Promoters in...


    Background: Despite growing interest in the use of technology to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), local attitudes toward mobile health (mHealth) use in these settings are minimally understood. This is especially true in the Dominican Republic, where mHealth interventions are starting to emerge. This information is critical for developing effective mHealth interventions to address public health issues, such as low exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates, which can lead to poor outcomes. With an EBF rate of 5% in the first 6 months of life, the Dominican Republic has one of the lowest EBF rates worldwide. Objective: This study aims to describe the current use of information and communication technology (ICT) and to analyze the attitudes and perceptions related to using mHealth interventions among caregivers of children aged ≤5 years and health promoters in the Dominican Republic. Findings can inform mHealth strategies aimed at improving EBF in this, and other, LMICs. Methods: Participants were recruited from 3 outpatient sites: the Niños Primeros en Salud program at Centro de Salud Divina Providencia in Consuelo (rural setting) and Clínica de Familia La Romana and its program Módulo de Adolescentes Materno Infantil in La Romana (urban setting). Focus groups were conducted with caregivers and community health promoters to identify the use, attitudes, perceptions, and acceptability of mHealth as well as barriers to EBF. Discussions were conducted in Spanish, guided by semistructured interview guides. All sessions were audio-recorded and later transcribed. Thematic content analysis was conducted in Spanish by two bilingual researchers and was structured around a hybrid behavioral theory framework to identify salient themes. Results: All participants (N=35) reported having a mobile phone, and 29 (83%) participants had a smartphone. Sources for obtaining health information included the internet, physicians and clinic, family and friends, health promoters, and television. Barriers to mHealth use included the cost of internet service, privacy concerns, and perceived credibility of information sources. Participants indicated the desire for, and willingness to use, an mHealth intervention to support breastfeeding. The desired features of a possible mHealth intervention included offering diverse methods of information delivery such as images and video content, text messages, and person-to-person interaction as well as notifications for appointments, vaccines, and feeding schedules. Other important considerations were internet-free access and content that included maternal and child health self-management topics beyond breastfeeding. Conclusions: There is a high level of acceptance of ICT tools for breastfeeding promotion among caregivers in urban and rural areas of the Dominican Republic. As mHealth tools can contribute to increased breastfeeding self-efficacy, identifying desirable features of such a tool is necessary to create an effective intervention. Participants wanted to receive trusted and reliable information through various formats and were interested in information beyond breastfeeding.

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

    Management and Treatment of Concussions via Tele-Concussion in a Pediatric Setting: Methodological Approach and Descriptive Analysis


    Background: Approximately 2 million children in the United States sustain a concussion annually, resulting in an economic impact as high as US $20 billion. Patients who receive treatment at concussion specialty clinics, versus primary care, experience faster recovery, thereby reducing patient burden and subsequent medical-related costs. Accessibility to specialty clinics is typically limited by the availability of in-office visits. This is particularly relevant in light of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic and subsequent guidance to eliminate all non–medically necessary in-clinic visits. Telehealth has been used to effectively deliver in-clinic care across several disciplines including psychiatry, psychology, and neuropsychology. However, a model of telehealth delivered concussion assessment, treatment, and management has not been established. Objective: The purposes of this paper are to describe a pediatric concussion specialty clinic’s experiences in delivering telehealth concussion services and to provide preliminary descriptive data on a sample of pediatric telehealth patients with concussions. Methods: The specialty pediatric concussion clinic described here began providing telehealth services in 2019 and is part of the largest and fastest-growing telehealth hospital network in the United States. The clinical care process will be described, including accessing the telehealth platform, assessment during the initial appointment, injury management including communication with relevant patient stakeholders (eg, parent or guardians, athletic trainers), dissemination of rehabilitation exercises, and nature of follow-up visits. Descriptive data will include patient demographics, the radius of care, the time between the date of injury and initial visit, the average number of follow-up visits, and days until medically cleared for return-to-learn and return-to-play. Results: The analytic sample included 18 patients with concussions who were seen for all of their visits via telehealth between August 2019 and April 2020. The mean age of the sample was 14.5 (SD 2.5) years. The radius of care was a median of 17 (IQR 11.0-31.0) miles from the clinic with a median time between injury and the first visit of 21 (IQR 6.0-41.5) days. The mean number of visits was 2.2 (SD 0.8) with a median days between visits of 5.4 (IQR 3.0-9.3) to manage and treat the concussion. Of the 18 patients, 55.6% (n=10) were medically cleared for return-to-learn or -play in a median of 15.5 (IQR 11.0-29.0) days. Conclusions: Limited access to health care is a well-understood barrier for receiving quality care. Subsequently, there are increasing demands for flexibility in delivering concussion services remotely and in-clinic. This is the first paper to provide a clinically relevant framework for the assessment, management, and treatment of acute concussion via telehealth in a pediatric population.

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

    The Evolving Family Mealtime: Findings From Focus Group Interviews With Hispanic Mothers


    Background: Given the protective effects of shared family mealtimes and the importance of family in the Hispanic culture, this context should be explored further to determine how it can be leveraged and optimized for interventions. Objective: This study aimed to explore contextual factors associated with family mealtimes in Mexican and Puerto Rican families. Methods: A total of 63 mothers participated in 13 focus group interviews across 4 states. Thematic analysis was used to analyze transcripts. Results: Seven overarching themes were identified through the thematic analysis. Themes reflected who was present at the mealtime, what occurs during mealtime, the presence of television, the influence of technology during mealtime, and how mealtimes have changed since the mothers were children. Conclusions: Hispanic mothers may be adapting family mealtimes to fit their current situations and needs, keeping the television and other devices on during mealtimes, and making additional meals for multiple family members to appease everyone’s tastes. All of these are areas that can be incorporated into existing culturally tailored obesity prevention programs to help families lead healthier lives.

  • Source: Pexels; Copyright: August de Richelieu; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health in the Period of Quarantine and Social Distancing With COVID-19

    Authors List:


    The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has spread rapidly throughout the world and has had a long-term impact. The pandemic has caused great harm to society and caused serious psychological trauma to many people. Children are a vulnerable group in this global public health emergency, as their nervous systems, endocrine systems, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes are not well developed. Psychological crises often cause children to produce feelings of abandonment, despair, incapacity, and exhaustion, and even raise the risk of suicide. Children with mental illnesses are especially vulnerable during the quarantine and social distancing period. The inclusion of psychosocial support for children and their families are part of the health responses to disaster and disaster recovery. Based on the biopsychosocial model, some children may have catastrophic thoughts and be prone to experience despair, numbness, flashbacks, and other serious emotional and behavioral reactions. In severe cases, there may be symptoms of psychosis or posttraumatic stress disorder. Timely and appropriate protections are needed to prevent the occurrence of psychological and behavioral problems. The emerging digital applications and health services such as telehealth, social media, mobile health, and remote interactive online education are able to bridge the social distance and support mental and behavioral health for children. Based on the psychological development characteristics of children, this study also illustrates interventions on the psychological impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the world has been struggling to curb the influences of the pandemic, the quarantine and social distancing policies will have long-term impacts on children. Innovative digital solutions and informatics tools are needed more than ever to mitigate the negative consequences on children. Health care delivery and services should envision and implement innovative paradigms to meet broad well-being needs and child health as the quarantine and social distancing over a longer term becomes a new reality. Future research on children's mental and behavioral health should pay more attention to novel solutions that incorporate cutting edge interactive technologies and digital approaches, leveraging considerable advances in pervasive and ubiquitous computing, human-computer interaction, and health informatics among many others. Digital approaches, health technologies, and informatics are supposed to be designed and implemented to support public health surveillance and critical responses to children’s growth and development. For instance, human-computer interactions, augmented reality, and virtual reality could be incorporated to remote psychological supporting service for children’s health; mobile technologies could be used to monitor children’s mental and behavioral health while protecting their individual privacy; big data and artificial intelligence could be used to support decision making on whether children should go out for physical activities and whether schools should be reopened. Implications to clinical practices, psychological therapeutic practices, and future research directions to address current effort gaps are highlighted in this study.

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

    High School Students’ Preferences and Design Recommendations for a Mobile Phone–Based Intervention to Improve Psychological Well-Being: Mixed Methods Study


    Background: Young adults’ mental health is characterized by relatively high rates of stress and anxiety and low levels of help-seeking behavior. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions could offer a cost-effective and readily available avenue to provide personalized support to young adults. More research needs to be directed at the development of mHealth interventions targeting youths specifically, as well as at determining how to reach young people and how to effectively intervene to improve psychological well-being. Objective: The objective was to gather perceptions from high school students to inform the development of a prototype mHealth intervention aiming to promote psychological well-being. Methods: A mixed methods design was used to (1) investigate high school students’ perceptions about stress and its consequences in daily life, as well as their ability to cope with stress, and (2) explore their preferences and design recommendations for an mHealth intervention to improve psychological well-being. Students from two high schools in the southeast of Sweden were invited to take part in the study. Recruitment of high school students was completed over a 6-week period, between October 25 and December 7, 2018. Recruitment entailed inviting students to complete a stress test (ie, screening and feedback) on their mobile phones. After completing the stress test, all participants were invited to complete a follow-up questionnaire and take part in telephone interviews. Results: A total of 149 high school students completed the stress test, of which 68 completed the questionnaire. There were 67 free-text comments distributed across the items. The majority of participants (55/68, 81%) stated that they coped with stress better or in the same way after engaging in the stress test, due to time management, dialogue with others, and self-refection. A total of 4 out of 68 participants (6%)—3 female students (75%) and 1 male student (25%)—took part in telephone interviews. Three main themes were identified from the interview data: perceptions about stress, design features, and intervention features. Conclusions: Stress was described by the students as a condition caused by high demands set by oneself and the social environment that impacted their physical health, personal relationships, school performance, and emotional well-being. Participants claimed that mHealth interventions need to be clearly tailored to a young age group, be evidence based, and offer varied types of support, such as information about stress, exercises to help organize tasks, self-assessment, coping tools, and recommendations of other useful websites, literature, blogs, self-help books, or role models. Mobile phones seemed to be a feasible and acceptable platform for the delivery of an intervention.

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

    The Sign 4 Little Talkers Intervention to Improve Listening, Understanding, Speaking, and Behavior in Hearing Preschool Children: Outcome Evaluation


    Background: Gaining age-appropriate proficiency in speech and language in the early years is crucial to later life chances; however, a significant proportion of children fail to meet the expected standards in these early years outcomes when they start school. Factors influencing the development of language and communication include low income, gender, and having English as an additional language (EAL). Objective: This study aimed to determine whether the Sign 4 Little Talkers (S4LT) program improves key developmental outcomes in hearing preschool children. S4LT was developed to address gaps in the attainment of vocabulary and communication skills in preschool children, identified through routine monitoring of outcomes in early years. Signs were adapted and incorporated into storybooks to improve vocabulary, communication, and behavior in hearing children. Methods: An evaluation of S4LT was conducted to measure key outcomes pre- and postintervention in 8 early years settings in Luton, United Kingdom. A total of 118 preschool children were tested in 4 early years outcomes domains—listening, speaking, understanding, and managing feelings and behavior—as well as Leuven well-being scales and the number of key words understood and spoken. Results: Statistically significant results were found for all measures tested: words spoken (P<.001) and understood (P<.001), speaking (P<.001), managing feelings and behavior (P<.001), understanding (P<.001), listening and attention (P<.001), and well-being (P<.001). Approximately two-thirds of the children made expected or good progress, often progressing multiple steps in educational attainment after being assessed as developmentally behind at baseline. Conclusions: The findings reported here suggest that S4LT may help children to catch up with their peers at a crucial stage in development and become school ready by improving their command of language and communication as well as learning social skills. Our analysis also highlights specific groups of children who are not responding as well as expected, namely boys with EAL, and who require additional, tailored support.

  • Source: pixabay; Copyright: Victoria_Borodinova; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Digital Approaches to Remote Pediatric Health Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Existing Evidence and a Call for Further Research


    The global spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak poses a public health threat and has affected people worldwide in various unprecedented ways, both personally and professionally. There is no question that the current global COVID-19 crisis, now more than ever, is underscoring the importance of leveraging digital approaches to optimize pediatric health care delivery in the era of this pandemic. In this perspective piece, we highlight some of the available digital approaches that have been and can continue to be used to streamline remote pediatric patient care in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to telemedicine. JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting is currently publishing a COVID-19 special theme issue in which investigators can share their interim and final research data related to digital approaches to remote pediatric health care delivery in different settings. The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly transformed health care systems worldwide, with significant variations and innovations in adaptation. There has been rapid expansion of the leveraging and optimization of digital approaches to health care delivery, particularly integrated telemedicine and virtual health. Digital approaches have played and will play major roles as invaluable and reliable resources to overcome restrictions and challenges imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic and to increase access to effective, accessible, and consumer-friendly care for more patients and families. However, a number of challenges remain to be addressed, and further research is needed. Optimizing digital approaches to health care delivery and integrating them into the public health response will be an ongoing process during the current COVID-19 outbreak and during other possible future pandemics. Regulatory changes are essential to support the safe and wide adoption of these approaches. Involving all relevant stakeholders in addressing current and future challenges as well as logistical, technological, and financial barriers will be key for success. Future studies should consider evaluating the following research areas related to telemedicine and other digital approaches: cost-effectiveness and return on investment; impact on quality of care; balance in use and number of visits needed for the management of both acute illness and chronic health conditions; system readiness for further adoption in other settings, such as inpatient services, subspecialist consultations, and rural areas; ongoing user-centered evaluations, with feedback from patients, families, and health care providers; strategies to optimize health equity and address disparities in access to care related to race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and rural communities; privacy and security concerns for protected health information with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)–secured programs; confidentiality issues for some specific populations, especially adolescents and those in need of mental health services; early detection of exposure to violence and child neglect; and integration of training into undergraduate and graduate medical education and subspecialty fellowships. Addressing these research areas is essential to understanding the benefits, sustainability, safety, and optimization strategies of telemedicine and other digital approaches as key parts of modern health care delivery. These efforts will inform long-term adoption of these approaches with expanded dissemination and implementation efforts.

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