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.
Susan Woods, MD, MPH Matthew F Hudson, PhD, MPH
Susan Woods, MD, MPH
Matthew F Hudson, PhD, MPH
The Journal of Participatory Medicine’s (JoPM) mission is to transform the culture of medicine by providing an evidence base for participatory health and medicine. JoPM aims to advance both science and practice across various participatory medicine focus areas, including: patient and caregiver empowerment and lived experience; patient-clinician partnership improving health and health care; patient-facing technology design and use producing improved patients’ health and health care; co-design, participatory design, and citizen science; patient and public involvement in research and care delivery.
The journal publishes six manuscript types: research articles, editorials, narratives, case reports, reviews, and updates on related research in other media. Published manuscripts explore how patient participation affects outcomes, resources, and relationships in health care; interventions optimizing patient participation; and data informing evidence-based practice.
JoPM was self-published between 2009-2017 by the Society for Participatory Medicine, publishing over 200 peer-reviewed articles (Archive of pre-2017 articles). Since 2017, JMIR Publications has been proudly publishing JoPM with the Society retaining editorial control (see joint SPM/JMIR Press Release).
All articles submitted after August 2017 are carefully copyedited, typeset, and XML-tagged. Articles from 2018 and on are available in PubMed and PubMed Central.
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.
In the United Kingdom, women aged 50 to 70 years are invited to undergo mammography. However, 10% of invasive breast cancers occur in women aged ≤45 years, representing an unmet need for young women. Identifying a suitable screening modality for this population is challenging; mammography is insufficiently sensitive, whereas alternative diagnostic methods are invasive or costly. Robotic clinical breast examination (R-CBE)—using soft robotic technology and machine learning for fully automated clinical breast examination—is a theoretically promising screening modality with early prototypes under development. Understanding the perspectives of potential users and partnering with patients in the design process from the outset is essential for ensuring the patient-centered design and implementation of this technology.
Patient empowerment is an important concept and a movement toward person-centered care of patients with chronic conditions. Nevertheless, to date, most research on empowered patients or informal caregivers has been conducted from a narrow clinical perspective. Such research has mainly focused on how health care professionals can empower patients to increase self-care or compliance with treatment. Research on empowered patient and informal caregiver needs and self-empowering activities is scarce.
Health policy and research communities have taken new approaches to addressing health equity, going beyond traditional methods that often excluded the contributions of health care consumers and persons with lived experience. This reevaluation has the potential to drive critical improvements in how we conduct research and innovate policy toward reducing health and health care disparities in the United States. Such considerations have led Fountain House, the founder of the Clubhouse model for peer-based psychosocial rehabilitation for persons with histories of serious mental illness, to incorporate community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) protocols within their research and service programs. The combination of CBPAR research methods within novel participatory care settings like Clubhouse programs presents unique and informative opportunities for the advancement of innovative health equity approaches to consumer empowerment in health care. In this piece, the authors (two staff researchers and one member researcher) propose how CBPAR research methods conducted in Clubhouses can uniquely advance equity-focused research methods, and how the benefit and enhancements from equity-focused research are continuously applied, practiced, and accountable to the communities within which the research is conducted. Embedding CBPAR practices within participatory care settings like Clubhouses, creates novel opportunities for research work to not only become more equitable but also become a part of the rehabilitative process, empowering the main beneficiaries of the research with the means to sustain and achieve further improvements for themselves. Such experiences are particularly important within rehabilitation settings, where there is a process of reclaiming empowerment and self-efficacy over a disability or illness and the social circumstances surrounding those conditions. Different stakeholders can all play important roles in advancing health equity–oriented research agendas by leveraging CBPAR principles. Academics and others in the research community can more comprehensively embed CBPAR methods into the design of their research studies. A critical link exists among how researchers conduct their studies, how providers organize care delivery and support, and how health plans pay for and evaluate care. CBPAR-generated research needs to fully engage clinical teams to ensure that ongoing community-involved care settings have direct applications to real-world care delivery. It is equally important that providers fully engage with their communities as they adjust their approaches to supporting the populations they serve.
When individuals, families, and employers select health plans in the United States, they are typically only shown the financial structure of the plans and their provider networks. This variation in financial structure can lead patients to have health plans aligned with their financial needs, but not with their underlying nonfinancial preferences. Compounding the challenge is the fact that managed care organizations have historically used a combination of population-level budget impact models, cost-effectiveness analyses, medical necessity criteria, and current medical consensus to make coverage decisions. This approach to creating and presenting health plan options does not consider heterogeneity in patient and family preferences and values, as it treats populations as uniform. Similarly, it does not consider that there are some situations in which patients are price-insensitive. We seek to highlight the challenges posed by presenting health plans to patients in strictly financial terms, and to call for more consideration of nonfinancial patient preferences in the health plan design and selection process.
Each year in England, almost 10,000 parents are informed of their child’s positive newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) results. This occurs approximately 2 to 8 weeks after birth depending on the condition. Communication of positive NBS results is a subtle and skillful task, demanding thought, preparation, and evidence to minimize potentially harmful negative sequelae. Evidence of variability in the content and the way the result is currently communicated has the potential to lead to increased parental anxiety and distress.
Patient portals are a health information technology that allows patients and their proxies, such as caregivers and family members, to access designated portions of their electronic health record using mobile devices and web browsers. The Open Notes initiative in the United States, which became federal law in April 2021, has redrawn and expanded the boundaries of medical records. Only a few studies have focused on sharing notes with parents or caregivers of pediatric patients.
Although telemedicine has been an important conduit for clinical care during the COVID-19 pandemic, not all patients have been able to meaningfully participate in this mode of health care provision. Challenges with accessing telemedicine using consumer technology can interfere with the ability of patients and clinicians to meaningfully connect and lead to significant investments in time by clinicians and their staff. In this narrative case, we identify issues related to patients’ use of technology, make comparisons between telehealth adoption and the deployment of electronic health records, and propose that building intuitive and supported digital care experiences for patients is required to make virtual care sustainable.
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