? ? Chronic conditions affect almost half of the U.S. population and account for three-quarters of health care costs. It is projected that by the year 2020, 25% of the American population will be living with multiple chronic conditions at a cost of 1.07 trillion dollars. Helping people with chronic illness live more successfully has been recognized as a major goal by many in the public health and medical arenas. A large aging population, lack of widespread success in current chronic disease management, and the burgeoning costs associated with these diseases highlight the critical need to find more effective ways to manage chronic illness. Two positive developments are also impacting this issue. Patients are increasingly interested in participating more fully in their health care, seeking medical information on their own and using the Internet for that purpose. This trend underscores an important issue: patients often do not find high quality information on the Internet or do not have the skills to evaluate the information they find. In addition, the kind of health information patients are seeking has changed as well. Increasingly patients are interested in learning about the full range of treatment strategies available, including complementary and alternative approaches and effective self-care strategies. The goals of this project will address these issues in several ways. ? Aim 1: Educate consumers on the expanded treatment options and benefits of an integrative multidisciplinary approach to three chronic diseases: diabetes/obesity, chronic pain and cardiovascular disease. ? Aim 2: Increase utilization of patient information on chronic disease via the Internet by providing evidenced-based health information in both English and Spanish using macromedia Flash technology, audio and text. This varied format is motivational, user-friendly, attractive, and overcomes resistance. It also makes the information accessible to people of different educational levels, ages and abilities. ? Aim 3: Train consumers to locate credible and reliable health information through online tutorials on Medline searching and web site evaluation to support their ongoing learning needs. These strategies will empower patients by increasing their knowledge of effective treatment and self-care options. It will support their active involvement in their ongoing health care, contributing to the goal of improved health outcomes and enhanced quality of life for people with chronic disease. ? ? ?