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The study's aim is to provide information about the clinical and business cases for comprehensive interactive cancer communication systems in the context of real world use for cancer care. This study is being conducted within the Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW) healthcare system. The primary outcomes for this study include:

  1. Determine the impact of the amount of use and women's ratings of cancer information competence, perceived social support, and emotional well being.
  2. Secondary outcomes include evaluating the effects on healthcare utilization, cost-effectiveness, and clinician ratings of healthcare visits.

The Need

Although cancer communication systems constitute a promising strategy to provide information and support to patients, much of the research on their use suffers from important limitations. Research contexts often do not match those encountered in real world use because of restrictive inclusion criteria or the extensive training and support that is provided to participants. Studies often do not gather informative data on effectiveness. This study will show how a cancer communication system (CHESS) works in real world healthcare setting, whether use of this system help breast cancer patients feel better informed and less anxious, and whether it reduces healthcare costs. Such outcomes are important for supporting a business case for disseminating cancer communication systems within healthcare systems.


Recruitment for this study began in November 2009 and will continue through March 2012. Study participants are being recruited through Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW). Participants will be asked to complete four online surveys at pretest, 1, 4, and 8 months. All participants are offered gift cards for completing surveys.

Principal Investigators:
Timothy Baker, Ph.D