Researchers from several schools and colleges at UW-Madison, including the College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Letters and Science, the Medical School, School of Human Ecology and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will work together to enhance an interactive cancer-communication system. Much of their work will focus on the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System, or CHESS, a computer-based health resource designed to educate and equip people facing a health crisis.
"Interactive, computer-based communication puts control in the hands of patients and their families, making them more effective participants in managing their health in a crisis," says David Gustafson, an industrial engineering professor emeritus who led the team that developed CHESS at UW-Madison's Center for Health Systems Research and Analysis.
Led by Gustafson, this NCI Center of Excellence at UW-Madison, which will be funded for five years, will conduct three main projects:
-- Investigators will systematically add services, such as information, social support and skills training, to CHESS and measure changes in breast-cancer patient outcomes.
-- They will address the efficacy of patients' use of CHESS by evaluating patients who use both CHESS and a human cancer mentor versus those who rely only on Internet-based information.
-- They will evaluate whether CHESS improves palliative care, as well as the effect of sharing patient information with clinicians.