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See detailSmartphone-based interventions for physical activity promotion: scoping review of the evidence over the last 10-years.
Domin, Alex UL; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Theisen, Daniel UL et al

in Journal of Medical Internet Research (2021), 9(7), 24308

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See detailCOVID-19 Research: Navigating the European General Data Protection Regulation
Becker, Regina UL

in Journal of Medical Internet Research (2020)

Researchers must collaborate globally to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates the processing of personal data, including health data ... [more ▼]

Researchers must collaborate globally to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates the processing of personal data, including health data of value to researchers. Even during a pandemic, research still requires a legal basis for the processing of sensitive data, additional justification for its processing, and a basis for any transfer of data outside Europe. The GDPR does provide legal grounds and derogations that can support research addressing a pandemic, if the data processing activities are proportionate to the aim pursued and accompanied by suitable safeguards. During a pandemic, a public interest basis may be more promising for research than a consent basis, given the high standards set out in the GDPR. However, the GDPR leaves many aspects of the public interest basis to be determined by individual Member States, which have not fully or uniformly made use of all options. The consequence is an inconsistent legal patchwork that displays insufficient clarity and impedes joint approaches. The COVID-19 experience provides lessons for national legislatures. Responsiveness to pandemics requires clear and harmonized laws that consider the related practical challenges and support collaborative global research in the public interest. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of cold stimulation on cardiac-vagal activation: Randomized controlled trial with healthy participants
Jungmann, Manuela; Vencatachellum, Shervin UL; Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL et al

in Journal of Medical Internet Research (2018), 2(2), 10257

Background: The experience of psychological stress has not yet been adequately tackled with digital technology by catering to healthy individuals who wish to reduce their acute stress levels. For the ... [more ▼]

Background: The experience of psychological stress has not yet been adequately tackled with digital technology by catering to healthy individuals who wish to reduce their acute stress levels. For the design of digitally mediated solutions, physiological mechanisms need to be investigated that have the potential to induce relaxation with the help of technology. Research has shown that physiological mechanisms embodied in the face and neck regions are effective for diminishing stress related symptoms. The study described in this paper expands on these areas with the design for a wearable in mind. As this study charts new territory in research, it also represents a first evaluation of the viability for a wearables concept to reduce stress. We inquire into the effects of cold stimulation on heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in the neck region using a Thermode device. Objective: The objectives of this study were to assess whether (a) HRV is increased and (b) HR is decreased during a cold stimulation compared to a (non-stimulated) control condition. Effects were in particular expected in the neck and cheek regions and less in the forearm area (c). Methods: Participants were seated in a lab chair and tested with cold stimulation on the right side of the body. A Thermode was placed on the neck, cheek and forearm. Participants’ electrocardiogram was recorded and subsequently analyzed. The study was a fully randomized, within subject design. The cold stimulation was applied in 16 s intervals over 4 trials per testing location. The control condition proceeded exactly like the cold condition, except the thermal variable was manipulated to remain on the baseline temperature. HR was measured in msec IBI. rMSSD analyses were used to index HRV. Data were analyzed using a repeated measurements analysis of variance approach with two repeated measurements factors, i.e. Body Location (neck, cheek, forearm) and Condition (cold, control) Results: The data analysis of 61 participants (on exclusion of outliers) showed a main effect for body location for HR and HRV, a main effect for condition for HR and HRV and an interaction effect for condition and body location for HR and HRV. The results obtained demonstrate a pattern of cardiovascular reactivity to cold stimulation, suggesting an increase in cardiac-vagal activation. The effect was found to be significant for cold stimulation in the lateral neck area. Conclusion: The results confirmed our main hypothesis. This sets the stage for further investigations of the stress reduction potential in the neck region by developing a wearable prototype that can be used for cold application. Future studies should include a stress condition, test for a range of temperatures and durations, and collect self-report data on perceived stress levels to advance current findings. [less ▲]

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See detailGame Addiction Scale Assessment Through a Nationally Representative Sample of Young Adult Men: Item Response Theory Graded–Response Modeling
Khazaal, Yasser; Breivik, Kyrre; Billieux, Joël UL et al

in Journal of Medical Internet Research (2018), 20(8), 10058

Background: The 7-item Game Addiction Scale (GAS) has been validated under standard confirmatory factor analysis and exhibits good psychometric properties. Whether this scale satisfies the necessary ... [more ▼]

Background: The 7-item Game Addiction Scale (GAS) has been validated under standard confirmatory factor analysis and exhibits good psychometric properties. Whether this scale satisfies the necessary conditions for consideration by item response theory (IRT) modeling remains unknown. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) recently proposed criteria, in its section 3, to define internet gaming disorder (IGD) to promote research on this possible condition. Objective: The objective of our study was to (1) analyze GAS in the context of IRT (graded-response) modeling; (2) investigate differential item functioning (DIF), a feature of IRT modeling, in 2 subsamples; and (3) contribute to the ongoing (IGD) debate related to the validity of the DSM-5 criteria using GAS items as a proxy. Methods: We assessed 2 large representative samples of Swiss men (3320 French-speaking and 2670 German-speaking) with GAS. Results: All items comprised high discrimination parameters. GAS items such as relapse, conflict, withdrawal, and problems (loss of interests) were endorsed more frequently in more severe IGD stages, whereas items related to tolerance, salience (preoccupation), and mood modification (escape) were endorsed more widely among participants (including in less severe IGD stages). Several DIF effects were found but were classified as negligible. Conclusions: The results of the analyses partly support the relevance of using IRT to further establish the psychometric properties of the GAS items. This study contributes to testing the validity of the IGD criteria, although cautious generalization of our findings is required with GAS being only a proxy of the IGD criteria. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes self-selection affect samples' representativeness in online surveys? An investigation in online video game research.
Khazaal, Yasser; van Singer, Mathias; Chatton, Anne et al

in Journal of Medical Internet Research (2014), 16(7), 164

BACKGROUND: The number of medical studies performed through online surveys has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite their numerous advantages (eg, sample size, facilitated access to individuals ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The number of medical studies performed through online surveys has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite their numerous advantages (eg, sample size, facilitated access to individuals presenting stigmatizing issues), selection bias may exist in online surveys. However, evidence on the representativeness of self-selected samples in online studies is patchy. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to explore the representativeness of a self-selected sample of online gamers using online players' virtual characters (avatars). METHODS: All avatars belonged to individuals playing World of Warcraft (WoW), currently the most widely used online game. Avatars' characteristics were defined using various games' scores, reported on the WoW's official website, and two self-selected samples from previous studies were compared with a randomly selected sample of avatars. RESULTS: We used scores linked to 1240 avatars (762 from the self-selected samples and 478 from the random sample). The two self-selected samples of avatars had higher scores on most of the assessed variables (except for guild membership and exploration). Furthermore, some guilds were overrepresented in the self-selected samples. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that more proficient players or players more involved in the game may be more likely to participate in online surveys. Caution is needed in the interpretation of studies based on online surveys that used a self-selection recruitment procedure. Epidemiological evidence on the reduced representativeness of sample of online surveys is warranted. [less ▲]

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