Patient Education In the Department of Medicine
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Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Internet Program

WHAT'S NEW

Launch your Digital Self-Management Program! Canary Health can deliver digital health self-management programs to your populations. To learn more, email info@canaryhealth.com. Canary Health has licensed all online Stanford Self-Management Programs.

This internet program for cancer survivors was developed and evaluated in a one-year randomized trial in partnership with the University of Hawai'i. The program was modeled after the Internet Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

Groups of about 25 people who have survived cancer participate together. Workshops are facilitated by two trained facilitators, one or both of whom are peer cancer survivors. Topics include: 1) healthy eating, 2) creating a physical activity program, 3) managing stress, 4) working with health care providers, 5) better communication with family, friends, co-workers and providers, 6) managing emotions and relationships, 7) managing fatigue, and 8) effects of treatment.

Each workshop is 6 weeks with new lessons each week. Participants are asked to log on at their convenience 2-3 times each week for a total of 1-2 hours. There are no requirements that participants log in at the same time. Each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the companion books, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, 4th Edition, and the National Cancer Institute's Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment.

It is the process in which the online workshop is presented that makes it unique. Sessions are highly participative through email and online discussion boards, where mutual support and success builds the participants' confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

How was the Program developed?

This internet program for cancer survivors was developed and evaluated in a one-year randomized trial in partnership with the University of Hawai'i. he program was modeled after the Internet Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. The study concluded in 2012.

The process of the online workshop is based on the experience of the investigators and others with self-efficacy, the confidence one has that he or she can master a new skill or affect one's own health. The content of the workshop was the result of focus groups with cancer survivors, in which the participants discussed which content areas were the most important to them.

How was the online program evaluated?

Three-hundred fifty-two cancer survivors who had completed treatment within the last five years completed baseline questionnaires and where randomized to receive the program or serve as a usual-care control group. Participants actively engaged in the program, with over 1000 posts per workshop and a mean of over 1200 visits to various pages of the program per participant.

What were the results?

People who took the program more than 2 years after cancer treatment, compared to those who did not, showed significant changes in insomnia, exercise, fatigue, visits to pjhysicians, communication with physicians, and depression.

Is the program being offered?

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has licensed the Cancer: Thriving and Surviving program. See the NCOA website for more information on how to offer the program. If you are a participant, and would like to take part in a workshop, please email cancer@selfmanage.org.

 

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