Patient-centered innovations, education, and technology for cancer care, cancer survivorship, and cancer research
JMIR Cancer (JC, ISSN: 2369-1999, Impact Factor: 2.8) is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on education, innovation and technology in cancer care, cancer survivorship and cancer research, and participatory and patient-centred approaches. This journal also includes research on non-Internet approaches to improve cancer care and cancer research.
We invite submissions of original research, viewpoints, reviews, tutorials, case studies, and non-conventional articles (e.g. open patient education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but are free for others to use/implement).
In our "Patients' Corner," we invite patients and survivors to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of cancer. In particular, we are interested in suggestions on improving the health care system and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (this section has no article processing fees).
In 2023, JMIR Cancer received an inaugural Journal Impact Factor™ of 2.8 (Source: Journal Citation Reports™ from Clarivate, 2023). JMIR Cancer is indexed in PubMed Central and PubMed, Scopus, DOAJ and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate).
Frequent sensor-assisted monitoring of changes in swallowing function may help improve detection of radiation-associated dysphagia before it becomes permanent. While our group has prototyped an epidermal strain/surface electromyography sensor that can detect minute changes in swallowing muscle movement, it is unknown whether patients with head and neck cancer would be willing to wear such a device at home after radiation for several months.
Social support is essential to promoting optimal health outcomes for women with breast cancer. However, an estimated 12% of women with breast cancer simultaneously experience intimate partner violence (IPV; physical, psychological, or sexual abuse by an intimate partner). Women who experience IPV during breast cancer may lack traditional social support, and thus seek out alternative sources of support. Online community forums, such as Reddit, can provide accessible social connections within breast cancer–specific communities. However, it is largely unknown how women with breast cancer use Reddit to describe and seek support for experiences of IPV.
Australia’s bowel cancer prevention guidelines, following a recent revision, are among the most complex in the world. Detailed decision tables outline screening or surveillance recommendations for 230 case scenarios alongside cessation recommendations for older patients. While these guidelines can help better allocate limited colonoscopy resources, their increasing complexity may limit their adoption and potential benefits. Therefore, tools to support clinicians in navigating these guidelines could be essential for national bowel cancer prevention efforts. Digital applications (DAs) represent a potentially inexpensive and scalable solution but are yet to be tested for this purpose.
Patients with cancer and their families often experience significant distress and deterioration in their quality of life. Psychosocial interventions were used to address patients’ and families’ psychosocial needs. Digital technology is increasingly being used to deliver psychosocial interventions to patients with cancer and their families.
Breast cancer is a widespread disease, and its incidence is rapidly increasing in the Middle East and North Africa region. With the increasing availability of smartphone apps for various health purposes, breast cancer apps have emerged as tools for raising awareness, providing support, and empowering women affected by this disease. These apps offer many features, including information on breast cancer risk factors, self-examination guides, appointment reminders, and community support groups or hotlines. Using apps raises the risk of privacy and security issues, and we hope that examining these features of the apps will contribute to the understanding of how technology can be used to improve these apps and provide insights for future development and improvement of breast cancer apps.
Sedentary behavior among breast cancer survivors is associated with increased risk of poor physical function and worse quality of life. While moderate to vigorous physical activity can improve outcomes for cancer survivors, many are unable to engage in that intensity of physical activity. Decreasing sitting time may be a more feasible behavioral target to potentially mitigate the impact of cancer and its treatments.
Adolescents and young adults often experience existential concerns in addition to side effects during a cancer trajectory, which they often carry alone. Thus, cohesion with other adolescents and young adults with cancer is essential but difficult due to the relatively small, widely dispersed nationwide population. In cocreation, a smartphone app has been developed and includes an information bank, a symptom tracker, and a social community platform, aiming to improve the quality of life (QoL) in this patient group.
Ester et al report the findings from a 2-arm cluster randomized controlled trial nested within a hybrid effectiveness-implementation study, which involved a 12-week exercise and behavior change program for rural and remote Canadians (Exercise for Cancer to Enhance Living Well [EXCEL]). The addition of 23 weeks of app-based physical activity monitoring to the EXCEL program did not result in significant between-group differences in physical activity at 6 months. While several behavior change techniques were included in the initial 12-week intervention, additional techniques were embedded within the mobile app. However, there is currently a lack of evidence regarding how many and which behavior change techniques are the most effective for people with cancer and if these differ based on individual characteristics. Potentially, the use of the mobile app was not required in addition to the behavior change support delivered to both groups as part of the EXCEL program. Further research should involve participants who may be in most need of behavioral support, for example, those with lower levels of self-efficacy. Suggestions for future research to tailor behavior change support for people with cancer are discussed.
Mobile health technologies, underpinned by scientific evidence and ethical standards, exhibit considerable promise and potential in actively engaging consumers and patients while also assisting health care providers in delivering cancer prevention and care services. The WASABY mobile app was conceived as an innovative, evidence-based mobile health tool aimed at disseminating age-appropriate messages from the European Code Against Cancer (ECAC) to adolescents across Europe.
Participant recruitment poses challenges in psycho-oncological intervention research, such as psycho-oncological web-based intervention studies. Strict consecutive recruitment in clinical settings provides important methodological benefits but is often associated with low response rates and reduced practicability and ecological validity. In addition to preexisting recruitment barriers, the protective measures owing to the COVID-19 pandemic restricted recruitment activities in the clinical setting since March 2020.