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: Original Papers

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.

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Opinion: Viewpoints, Columns, Perspectives and Commentary

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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Evidence: Original Papers

The coproduction of care involves patients and families partnering with their clinicians and care teams, with the premise that each brings their own perspective, knowledge, and expertise, as well as their own values, goals, and preferences, to the partnership. Dashboards can display meaningful patient and clinical data to assess how a patient is doing and inform shared decision-making. Increasing communication between patients and care teams is particularly important for children with chronic conditions. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common chronic pediatric rheumatic condition, is associated with increased pain, decreased function, and decreased quality of life.

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Evidence: Original Papers

The rise of major complex public health problems, such as vaccination hesitancy and access to vaccination, requires innovative, open, and transdisciplinary approaches. Yet, institutional silos and lack of participation on the part of nonacademic citizens in the design of solutions hamper efforts to meet these challenges. Against this background, new solutions have been explored, with participatory research, citizen science, hackathons, and challenge-based approaches being applied in the context of public health.

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Evidence: Original Papers

Shared decision-making (SDM), a collaborative approach to reach decisional agreement, has been advocated as an ideal model of decision-making in the medical encounter. Frameworks for SDM have been developed largely from the clinical context of a competent adult patient facing a single medical problem, presented with multiple treatment options informed by a solid base of evidence. It is difficult to apply this model to the pediatric setting and children with medical complexity (CMC), specifically since parents of CMC often face a myriad of interconnected decisions with minimal evidence available on the multiple complex and co-existing chronic conditions. Thus, solutions that are developed based on the traditional model of SDM may not improve SDM practices for CMCs and may be a factor contributing to the low rate of SDM practiced with CMCs.

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Evidence: Original Papers

An increase in the demand for child participation in health care requires tools that enable and empower children to be involved in the co-production of their own care. The development of such tools should involve children, but participatory design and research with children have challenges, in particular, when involving children with disabilities where a low level of participation is the norm. Norm-creative and participatory approaches may bring more effective design solutions for this group. “Personas” is a methodology for increasing user perspectives in design and offers representation when users are absent. However, research on participatory persona generation in this context is limited.

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Evidence: Original Papers

Engaging patients and the public in clinical practice guideline (CPG) development is believed to contribute significantly to guideline quality, but the advantages of the various co-design strategies have not been empirically compared, making it difficult to choose one strategy over another.

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Evidence: Original Papers

As an important transition stage in human development, adolescence is a critical window for vaping prevention. There is a substantial gap in communication research on vaping prevention among racial and ethnic minority groups. Their representation is essential to develop, implement, and disseminate innovative and effective interventions for vaping prevention.

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Evidence: Reviews (not grant supported)

The exponential growth of health information technology has the potential to facilitate community engagement in research. However, little is known about the use of health information technology in community-engaged research, such as which types of health information technology are used, which populations are engaged, and what are the research outcomes.

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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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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

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