Journal of Participatory Medicine

The Journal of Participatory Medicine, the official journal of the Society for Participatory Medicine, is a peer-reviewed, open access journal with the mission to advance the understanding and practice of participatory medicine among health care professionals and patients.

Editor-in-Chief:

Susan Woods MD, MPH


The Journal's mission is to transform the culture of medicine by providing an evidence base for participatory health and medicine. It aims to advance both science and practice across a variety of participatory medicine areas of focus, including: patient and caregiver empowerment; patient-clinician partnership; use of technology to improve patients’ health and health care; participatory design and citizen science. Papers are published in six areas: research articles, editorials, narratives, case reports, reviews, and updates on related research in other media. It will explore how participation affects outcomes, resources, and relationships in healthcare; which interventions increase participation; and the types of evidence that provide the most reliable answers.

JoPM was self-published between 2009-2017 by the Society of Participatory Medicine, publishing over 200 peer-reviewed articles (Archive of pre-2017 articles). Since 2017, the journal is now proudly published by JMIR Publications, with the Society retaining editorial control (see joint SPM/JMIR Press Release).

All articles submitted after August 2017 are carefully copyedited and typeset, and XML-tagged. Articles from 2018 and on are available in PubMed Central and PubMed.

There are no publishing charges for unfunded research. There is a modest Article Processing Fee ($1500) in case of acceptance for grant-funded research or where authors have access to institutional open access funds, e.g. COMPACT/COPE signatories. 

Recent Articles

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Evidence: Reviews (not grant supported)

Patient and public involvement (PPI) in health research is an area of growing interest. Several studies have examined the use and impact of PPI in knowledge syntheses (systematic, scoping, and related reviews); however, few studies have focused specifically on the patient or public coauthorship of such reviews.

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Evidence: Original Papers

Co-production of health and care involving patients, families of patients, and professionals in care processes can create joint learning about how to meet patients’ needs. Although barriers and facilitators to co-production have been examined previously in various health care contexts, the preconditions in Swedish chronic cardiac care contexts are yet to be explored. This study is set in the health system of the Swedish region of Jönköping County and is part of system-wide efforts to promote better health for persons with heart failure (HF).

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Opinion: Viewpoints, Columns, Perspectives and Commentary

Sharing clinical trial data can provide value to research participants and communities by accelerating the development of new knowledge and therapies as investigators merge data sets to conduct new analyses, reproduce published findings to raise standards for original research, and learn from the work of others to generate new research questions. Nonprofit funders, including disease advocacy and patient-focused organizations, play a pivotal role in the promotion and implementation of data sharing policies. Funders are uniquely positioned to promote and support a culture of data sharing by serving as trusted liaisons between potential research participants and investigators who wish to access these participants’ networks for clinical trial recruitment. In short, nonprofit funders can drive policies and influence research culture. The purpose of this paper is to detail a set of aspirational goals and forward thinking, collaborative data sharing solutions for nonprofit funders to fold into existing funding policies. The goals of this paper convey the complexity of the opportunities and challenges facing nonprofit funders and the appropriate prioritization of data sharing within their organizations and may serve as a starting point for a data sharing toolkit for nonprofit funders of clinical trials to provide the clarity of mission and mechanisms to enforce the data sharing practices their communities already expect are happening.

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Evidence: Original Papers

Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) engages patients as partners in research and focuses on questions and outcomes that are important to patients. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced PCOR teams to engage through web-based platforms rather than in person. Similarly, virtual engagement is the only safe alternative for members of the cystic fibrosis (CF) community, who spend their lives following strict infection control guidelines and are already restricted from in-person interactions. In the absence of universal best practices, the CF community has developed its own guidelines to help PCOR teams engage through web-based platforms.

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Evidence: Original Papers (not grant supported)

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global mental health crisis, highlighting the need for a focus on community-wide mental health. Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a program and practice developed by persons with a lived experience of recovery from trauma or mental health challenges to train community members from diverse backgrounds to support others through mental health crises. eCPR trainers have found that eCPR may promote feelings of belonging by increasing supportive behaviors toward individuals with mental health problems. Thus, clinical outcomes related to positive and negative affect would improve along with feelings of loneliness.

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Evidence: Original Papers

The rise in pediatric obesity and its accompanying condition, type 2 diabetes (T2D), is a serious public health concern. T2D in adolescents is associated with poor health outcomes and decreased life expectancy. Effective diabetes prevention strategies for high-risk adolescents and their families are urgently needed.

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Evidence: Original Papers

In a previous study, participation in a 16-week reverse integrated care and group behavioral and educational intervention for individuals with diabetes and serious mental illness was associated with improved glycemic control (hemoglobin A1c) and BMI. To inform future implementation efforts, more information about the effective components of the intervention is needed.

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Opinion: Viewpoints, Perspectives, Commentary, Opinion papers by patients and patient advocates (not grant supported)

For those of us who believe deeply in a collaborative relationship between patients and doctors, the chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an uncomfortable question to the fore: Is participatory medicine still relevant during a pandemic? Drawing liberally upon the Jewish tradition of Talmudic reasoning, I would like to offer 3 considered replies: “Yes,” “no,” and “it depends.” Sometimes, patients may have no choice but to cede control to medical professionals, even though patients are still the experts on their own lives. Other times, the shared control of participatory medicine is both an ethical and clinical imperative. However, as the worldwide toll exacted by COVID-19 has made us grimly aware, no one is really in control. That is why, in these uncertain times, the path forward requires maintaining mutual trust between health care providers and patients, whatever the circumstances. After all, it is our bodies and our selves at stake.

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Evidence: Original Papers (not grant supported)

Although fever is considered a sign of infection, many individuals with primary immunodeficiency (PI) anecdotally report a lower-than-normal average body temperature on online forums sponsored by the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF). There is limited knowledge about the average body temperature and fever response in PI.

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Evidence: Original Papers

Peer support specialists offering mental health and substance use support services have been shown to reduce stigma, hospitalizations, and health care costs. However, as peer support specialists are part of a fast-growing mental health and substance use workforce in innovative integrated care settings, they encounter various challenges in their new roles and tasks.

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Evidence: Original Papers (not grant supported)

Giving patients access to their medical records (ie, open health records) can support doctor-patient communication and patient-centered care and can improve quality of care, patients’ health literacy, self-care, and treatment adherence. In Germany, patients are entitled by law to have access to their medical records. However, in practice doing so remains an exception in Germany. So far, research has been focused on organizational implementation barriers. Little is known about physicians’ attitudes and perspectives toward opening records in German primary care.

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Evidence: Original Papers

Widespread adoption, use, and integration of patient-facing technologies into the workflow of health care systems has been slow, thus limiting the realization of their potential. A growing body of work has focused on how best to promote adoption and use of these technologies and measure their impacts on processes of care and outcomes. This body of work currently suffers from limitations (eg, cross-sectional analyses, limited patient-generated data linked with clinical records) and would benefit from institutional infrastructure to enhance available data and integrate the voice of the patient into implementation and evaluation efforts.

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

There are no preprints available for open peer-review at this time. Please check back later.

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