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The purpose of this study is to develop and test the benefits of a mobile Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (Survivorship CHESS) in a randomized control trial that will recruit men and women with diagnosed loco-regional colon cancer. Survivorship CHESS will provide information, tools, and a support system through the use of a mobile device (smart phone), and will be designed to help subjects develop

  1. competence in information gathering, decision-making, and behaviors they are trying to change
  2. social support systems to help deal with the cancer experience
  3. autonomy that comes with regaining a sense of control over their lives.

This in turn, will help them adopt or maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors and improve their quality of life.

The Need

Survivorship CHESS is an ideal platform for investigating how to improve quality of life and minimize unnecessary suffering of cancer patients through the broad dissemination of e-health communication resources. Our team of highly skilled, national research scientists from multi disciplinary backgrounds have designed the research methodology necessary to accurately measure the proposed research outcomes/objectives. Additionally, the national scientific review committee at the funding agency, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has approved the scientific methodology of the proposed study as being appropriate to achieve the stated research outcomes/objectives. Those randomized to receive access to Survivorship CHESS may benefit substantially from this study. This intervention will provide these subjects with access to reliable information and increased social support that could potentially benefit them during their treatment. We hope that through the use of the Survivorship CHESS system subjects will increase their activity level and improve upon their physical health as well. Once we have demonstrated the efficacy of the intervention on improved survivor outcomes and identified the active ingredients of Survivorship CHESS, they can be strategically used for interventions of other lifestyle behavior interventions in colon cancer survivors or in physical activity interventions in other cancer survivor populations.


Recruitment for this study began in March 2010 and will continue through February 2012. Study participants are recruited from national cancer centers in WI, TX, NC, and CT. Participants will receive a smart phone with internet access for 6 months. Participants will be asked to complete four surveys at pretest, 3, 6, and 9 months. All participants are reimbursement for completing surveys and their phone service costs while on study. Participants in the Survivorship CHESS group who complete the study (including all surveys) will be able to keep their smart phone. Individual system training and technical support is provided by CHESS staff through the duration of the study.

Principal Investigators:
David Gustafson Sr., Ph.D


  • Journal of Cancer Survivorship : research and practice
    SurvivorCHESS to increase physical activity in colon cancer survivors: can we get them moving?

    Mayer DK, Landucci G, Awoyinka L, Atwood AK, Carmack CL, Demark-Wahnefried W, McTavish F, Gustafson DH.