Technology used to promote better health and cancer prevention statewide
North Carolina’s length, breadth and socioeconomic diversity creates challenges for promoting the healthy behaviors necessary to minimize cancer risk and ensure the best possible quality of life. That’s why five new projects are looking at ways to harness interactive communications technologies to prevent cancer or reduce cancer risk; increase access to cancer screening, prevention and treatment services; and to improve quality of life for those living with cancer.
The potential of these relatively new technologies has not been thoroughly explored, and researchers want to know if they can be effective in reaching people who would otherwise lack access to information, services or expertise.
This is the focus of five projects funded under the second round of Health-e-NC (Health for Everyone in North Carolina) grants program. The program provides pilot funding in support of the University Cancer Research Fund’s strategic goal of optimizing cancer outcomes in North Carolina.
Projects were selected through a competitive review process that included review by national experts from outside UNC. Projects emphasize the use of interactive technologies to deliver breakthrough innovation and excellence in behavioral research; collaborative, crossdisciplinary approaches; potential for generating additional external funding from peer-reviewed sources; and real and tangible impact on the health of North Carolinians. The projects focus on areas of the state where cancers, and in particular breast, lung and colorectal cancers, are common and place a burden on the health of North Carolinians.
“UNC Lineberger researchers from across campus were challenged to design ways to increase programs’ reach and impact with interactive technologies focused on Health-e-NC’s strategic goals. We are dealing with a state 500 miles across, with 10 million citizens, making it crucial to design more cost-effective ways of preventing disease and allowing access to quality care. We will be evaluating outcomes to see if technology can help deliver better education, care and interventions with improved reach, and potentially at a lower cost of delivery. The result will be healthier North Carolina communities,” said Shelley Earp, MD, UNC Lineberger’s director.
Funded projects include:
• A Home Based Motivational Exercise Program for African American Breast Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study
• Reducing HPV-Attributable Cancers Through HPV Vaccination – an Interactive Technology Based Approach for Adolescents in School Based Health Centers
• Telemedicine Delivery of a Cancer Support Training Intervention: Partnership with Community-Based Survivorship Centers
• Improving Care Quality with Virtual Tumor Boards Using Videoconferencing Technology
• Lose-Now-NC: Feasibility of a large group format community weight loss program coupled with Internet support For more information about these projects, see the full abstracts at http://ucrf.unc.edu/awards/.
Health-e-NC is a statewide effort to improve cancer outcomes for the diseases that hit North Carolina’s citizens the hardest. Sponsored by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University Cancer Research fund, Health-e-NC is aimed at finding out what really works in the areas of cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship and helping to spread the latest and best evidencebased cancer information to health care providers and advocacy groups as well as cancer patients, their families and survivors.