TRAINING AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM A.
SPECIFIC AIMS The Training and Career Development Program of the UW Center for Excellence in Cancer Communication (Center) will devote its efforts to recruiting and training the next generation of cancer communication researchers and enhancing the capabilities of current researchers. The proposed CECCR builds on the important but focused findings ? most based on data with the advantages as well as the constraints of randomized clinical trials ? that ICCS (Interactive Cancer Support Systems) assist cancer patients and families during the initial crisis of diagnosis and treatment. The scope of the projects proposed under the current CECCR broadens the range of research and training opportunities the Training and Career Development Program (TCD) will offer. That is, the Effectiveness Project takes ICCS out of the traditional constraints of randomized clinical trials by both conducting a randomized trial within an entire large regional HMO (i.e., full population recruiting), and by testing how well our experimentally-tested ICCS will penetrate a population given universal access to it. The Prolonging Life Project pursues unexpected benefits in actual survival, not just quality of life, and will determine just how these benefits are obtained, vastly expanding the capabilities of future eHealth interventions. And the Survivorship Project moves to a different portion of the cancer continuum, supporting patients in lifestyle changes to sustain the benefits of initial cancer treatment, and it aims to do so with technology changes that could vastly expand the reach and effectiveness of eHealth in general. Thus, the changes in technology, outcomes, and integration with organization each provide new sets of theoretical and research opportunities that allow for much richer training opportunities. In addition, given the persistent digital divide and evidence that underserved communities benefit most from ICCSs, it is critical that we reach underserved populations by understanding and honoring their illness experience, enhancing their knowledge, and encouraging positive behaviors in the appropriate cultural context. We must train research scientists to effectively conduct and apply research with cultural competence and sensitivity. One of the better ways to do this is to recruit students from these populations in the first place, building on our success in this area during the first CECCR at Wisconsin. Specifically we propose to: (1) provide quality mentoring and supported research opportunities across the professional spectrum, from potential scientists to established scientists, (2) place a high priority on recruiting graduate students, clinicians, and medical trainees (i.e., doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc.), and (3) offer ongoing, evidence-based education regarding interactive cancer communication systems uses and effects, and (4) develop expertise in building, evaluating and disseminating innovative methods to enhance those systems and reach new audiences.
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