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RATIONALE: Using an Internet Web site that enables children with cancer to interact online with classmates, participate in classroom activities, get easy-to-read medical information, and chat with family members, medical staff, and other children with cancer may help children cope with isolation, fear, and decreased self-esteem.
PURPOSE: This phase I/II trial is studying the effectiveness of an Internet Web site in providing social support and education to children who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
- Develop an Internet-based application that allows pediatric patients with cancer to enter a virtual community with the following capabilities:
- Interact with classmates and participate in classroom activities via e-mail, chat groups, online field trips, art studio, music room, and game room
- Identify and interact with a community of peers with similar medical conditions
- Access a dictionary to get medical information in understandable terms
- Interact with the medical community online
- Interact with family members online
- Determine the acceptability of this program among groups of these patients and their classmates, teachers, family members, and healthcare providers using focus groups.
- Determine the effect of this program on self-esteem, coping behaviors, perceived social support, cancer-relevant medical knowledge, and feelings of control over health destiny in these patients.
- Determine the effect of this program on the performance of these patients in school.
- Determine the effect of this program in alleviating psychological distress in these patients.
OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study.
- Phase I: Students, family members, teachers, and health providers participate in focus groups to provide system design and implementation input and to assess overall acceptability of a prototype Internet-based application for pediatric cancer patients.
- Phase II: Patients are assigned to 1 of 2 groups, based on participating center.
- Group 1: Patients have access to and utilize the Internet-based application @neWorld.
- Group 2: Patients do not have access to or utilize @neWorld. In both groups, patients complete questionnaires measuring psychological distress, quality of life, self-esteem, coping behaviors, perceived academic and social competence, perceived social support, cancer-relevant medical knowledge, feelings of control over health destiny, utilization of psychological services, and performance in school at baseline and 3 and 6 months.
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 94 patients (44 for group 1 and 50 for group 2) will be accrued for this study.
complementary or alternative medicine procedure, management of therapy complications, psychosocial assessment and care
Leap of Faith Technologies, Incorporated
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:54:52-0400
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