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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R03CA154068-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Schoenberger, Yu-Mei
Organization: University Of Alabama At Birmingham
Project Title: Participatory Design of a Text Message System to Support Community Health Advisor
Fiscal Year: 2011
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Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Cancer mortality is continuing to decline in the United States; however, African Americans and people with low income and/or education have the highest rates of both new cancers and cancer deaths. The differences in knowledge of cancer risks and possessing misinformation may be a potential contributing factor to cancer health disparities. Due to the unequal burden of cancer among African Americans, the Deep South Network (DSN) for Cancer Control was established in early 2000 to establish sustainable community infrastructure in order to promote cancer awareness and to develop and test innovative, community-based cancer control measures to eliminate cancer mortality disparities among African Americans in Alabama and Mississippi. Community Health Advisors as Research Partners (CHARPs) were trained to deliver cancer awareness activities in their community and to serve as partners in the coordination of community-based research. With the emergence of technology that allows individuals' increased access to information, the development of health promotion programs, e.g. smoking cessation, physical activity, weight management, which use the short messaging service (SMS), or text messaging function of the mobile phone, have shown many positive outcomes. By providing CHARPs with a mobile phone SMS system, CHARPs can have access to accurate and up-to-date cancer health information through synchronous, real-time, communication to community members. The overall goal of the project is to develop and pilot test an innovative, interactive SMS application designed to provide cancer health information and a support network for the DSN CHARPs. The project will be guided by the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). This theory suggests that when a user is presented with a new technology, a number of factors (perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use) influence her decision about how and when she will use the technology. The specific aims are: to conduct extensive formative research among DSN CHARPs in order to assess the feasibility and acceptability of SMS technology to deliver information and identify cancer information needs; to collaborate with DSN CHARPs to draft and evaluate text messages to be included in the SMS database in order to develop a prototype SMS system aimed at providing cancer information; and to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the SMS system for delivering cancer information through CHARPs. Results from this study will provide a basis for more extended research in the field of cancer health disparities and mobile phone technology. In addition, a greater understanding of how to distribute cancer health information to those in rural and low resource areas will lead to improved interventions.

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Publications


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