DESCRIPTION (adapted from investigator's abstract): The field of genetic risk
is advancing at a pace that the general public, and even health professionals,
have trouble keeping up with. The media reports new discoveries frequently,
often related to 'cancer-prone genes', or hereditary cancer syndromes, and the
availability of cancer mutation testing. Health professionals often lack time
to consult with patients over new discoveries showcased in the evening news.
Thus, many people are left uncertain of their personal risk for cancer, worried
about the possibilities, and unsure of what to do. There is a need for delivery
of personalized, accurate, up-to-date risk information to the general public.
The investigators believe the best way to deliver this rapidly changing and
sensitive information is via the new media available through the Internet, on
the World Wide Web (WWW), now accessible through a telephone connection. The
WWW can deliver up-to-date personalized information interactively, through
test, audio, or video, at a pace chosen by the user. Studies are needed to
demonstrate the value of this technology in public health. The investigators
propose to do this by conducting a population-based randomized test of an
interactive Web-based breast cancer risk information intervention to help women
from the general public cope with their breast cancer risk and to make
appropriate screening choices. They will identify women from the public, screen
them for simple eligibility criteria, and randomize them to receive either the
intervention package or to participate in a delayed intervention control arm.
The intervention will be based on a project-specific website integrated with
existing cancer information services, delivered directly to users' homes
through their televisions via Web TV, and augmented with interactive components
to maximize the user's ability to access information in a timely and
satisfactory manner. A small proportion of eligible participants will be
offered genetic counseling to consider genetic mutation testing. The main
outcomes of this project are cancer worry, perceived risk, quality of life, and
breast screening intentions.
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