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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: 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.

  • Mother and child reading. Source:; Copyright: IgorVetushko; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    A Pragmatic Internet Intervention to Promote Positive Parenting and School Readiness in Early Childhood: Initial Evidence of Program Use and Satisfaction


    Background: Internet-based parenting programs have the potential to connect families to research-informed materials to promote positive child development. However, such programs can only succeed to the extent that the intended population engages with them. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate engagement in the 5-a-Day Parenting program, a technology-based program designed with low-income families in mind, to promote daily use of 5 specific parenting activities conducive to children’s school readiness. Following earlier pilot data, the program was enhanced with an initial motivational e-intervention and tailored text messages designed to promote engagement. Methods: Parents were recruited from local childcare centers and through a participant registry. We examined rates of receipt of program text messages and use of video-based content on the program website, 3 factors that may affect website use, and satisfaction with key program elements. Results: A total of 360 parents of young children learned about the study and had the opportunity to use the 5-a-Day Parenting website. Of these, 94 parents participated in the study, and 33% (31/94) accessed the video-based content on the website at least once. No association was found between website use and program recruitment approach, program-affiliation message, sociocontextual risk, and baseline use of the five parenting activities. Satisfaction with text messages and video-based content was high. Conclusions: For some parents, technology-based programs appear useful; however, engagement could still be enhanced. Additional research should seek innovative strategies for promoting engagement in Web-based parenting programs.

  • Source: Creative Commons Search; Copyright: LilladyCee; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Use of Synchronous Digital Health Technologies for the Care of Children With Special Health Care Needs and Their Families: Scoping Review


    Background: Use of synchronous digital health technologies for care delivery to children with special health care needs (having a chronic physical, behavioral, developmental, or emotional condition in combination with high resource use) and their families at home has shown promise for improving outcomes and increasing access to care for this medically fragile and resource-intensive population. However, a comprehensive description of the various models of synchronous home digital health interventions does not exist, nor has the impact of such interventions been summarized to date. Objective: We aim to describe the various models of synchronous home digital health that have been used in pediatric populations with special health care needs, their outcomes, and implementation barriers. Methods: A systematic scoping review of the literature was conducted, guided by the Arksey and O’Malley Scoping Review Framework. MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases were searched from inception to June 2018, and the reference lists of the included systematic reviews and high-impact journals were hand-searched. Results: A total of 38 articles were included in this review. Interventional articles are described as feasibility studies, studies that aim to provide direct care to children with special health care needs, and studies that aim to support family members to deliver care to children with special health care needs. End-user involvement in the design and implementation of studies is evaluated using a human-centered design framework, and factors affecting the implementation of digital health programs are discussed in relation to technological, human, and systems factors. Conclusions: The use of digital health to care for children with special health care needs presents an opportunity to leverage the capacity of technology to connect patients and their families to much-needed care from expert health care providers while avoiding the expenses and potential harms of the hospital-based care system. Strategies to scale and spread pilot studies, such as involving end users in the co-design techniques, are needed to optimize digital health programs for children with special health care needs.

  • The Volunteer Family Connect intervention. Source: Freepik; Copyright: pressfoto; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Effectiveness of the Volunteer Family Connect Program in Reducing Isolation of Vulnerable Families and Supporting Their Parenting: Randomized Controlled...


    Background: Volunteer home visiting is a widely adopted community-based approach to support families by linking isolated or vulnerable families with community volunteers who visit their homes weekly over approximately 12 months. This study seeks to robustly evaluate the effectiveness of this model of support for families with young children. Objective: This paper reports the intention-to-treat analysis of primary and secondary outcomes for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Volunteer Family Connect intervention, a volunteer home-visiting program designed to support families with young children who experience social isolation or a lack of parenting confidence and skills. Methods: The RCT was conducted across seven sites in Australia. Overall, 341 families were recruited: 169 intervention (services as usual+volunteer home visits) and 172 control (services as usual) families. Intervention families received the program for 3-12 months. Participants were invited to complete six data collection points over a 15-month period. Primary outcomes were community connectedness and parenting competence. Secondary outcomes included parent physical and mental health, general parent wellbeing, parent empowerment, the sustainability of family routines, and the parent-child relationship. According to the protocol, the program would be judged to be effective if at least one of the primary outcomes was significantly positive and the other was neutral (ie, intervention families did not demonstrate positive or negative outcomes compared to the control group). Results: The intervention group demonstrated significant improvement in the primary outcome variable parenting sense of competence as compared to the control group. Overall, there was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups with regard to the primary outcome variable community connectedness, other than on the “Guidance” subscale of the Social Provisions Scale. Because there were statistically significant findings for the total score of one primary outcome variable “parenting sense of competence” and largely neutral findings for the primary outcome variable “community connectedness,” the program met the previously defined criteria for program effectiveness. In relation to secondary outcomes, intervention families reported significantly higher wellbeing and were significantly more likely to feel that life was improving. Conclusions: The Volunteer Family Connect intervention was considered an effective intervention, with a role to play on the landscape of services available to support vulnerable families with young children. Clinical Trial: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12616000396426;

  • Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Andrey Popov; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    A Parenting Behavior Intervention (the Strengthening Families Program) for Families: Noninferiority Trial of Different Program Delivery Methods


    Background: The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is an evidence-based parent training and youth life skills and drug prevention program traditionally delivered in group settings. Families attend parent and youth classes conducted by trained facilitators. Recently, a 2-disk home-use DVD series was created with the same SFP skills as the group classes for parents and the youth to watch together at home. Additional lesson material was added that included healthy brain development, school success, anger management, dangers of alcohol and drugs, and mindfulness. The SFP DVD reduces SFP delivery costs for agencies and logistic burdens to families. Creative applications of the DVD include holding SFP DVD family discussion groups of multiple families and using SFP DVD video clips as part of a shorter 10-week group class version for parents and the youth. Objective: This study aimed to examine three different DVD implementation scenarios using a noninferiority trial, contrasting target outcomes with an age-matched sample culled from a national norm database of families who completed a standard SFP 14-week class. Methods: The partial eta-square was used to compare effect sizes between the different delivery modalities for relevant programmatic outcomes. We adjusted the effect sizes by demographic measures to determine whether there were site-specific features influencing program outcomes. Results: For the unadjusted effect size comparisons, 13 of the 15 indicated that the home-use DVD outperformed group norms with an average 0.13 effect size estimate difference across the comparisons (28% improvement in the effect size for DVD condition). Comparisons of the home-use DVD condition with the mixed DVD use conditions showed no discernable pattern where one condition consistently outperformed another. Adjusted effect sizes still reinforced the superiority of the DVD conditions; however, there was some shrinkage in the effect sizes as expected with the inclusion of relevant covariates. Conclusions: The home-use DVD shows that it is possible to effectively deliver an affordable family-based intervention using alternative technology outside of the traditional group-based class format. In almost all of the comparisons, the DVD conditions outperformed the group norms, underscoring that low-cost DVDs or viewing the videos on the Web may provide a useful surrogate for costly group-based formats. Future studies may want to improve on the quasi-experimental design by examining programmatic differences based on delivery format using a randomized controlled trial, thus strengthening the causal framework regarding program effects. In addition, the assessment protocol relied on retrospective reporting, which, although this can limit response shift bias, does not separate data collection in time as with a true pre- and posttest design.

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