@neWorld: A Virtual Community For Kids With Cancer
- Develop an Internet-based application that allows pediatric patients with cancer to
enter a virtual community with the following capabilities:
- Interact with classmates and participate in classroom activities via e-mail, chat
groups, online field trips, art studio, music room, and game room
- Identify and interact with a community of peers with similar medical conditions
- Access a dictionary to get medical information in understandable terms
- Interact with the medical community online
- Interact with family members online
- Determine the acceptability of this program among groups of these patients and their
classmates, teachers, family members, and healthcare providers using focus groups.
- Determine the effect of this program on self-esteem, coping behaviors, perceived social
support, cancer-relevant medical knowledge, and feelings of control over health destiny
in these patients.
- Determine the effect of this program on the performance of these patients in school.
- Determine the effect of this program in alleviating psychological distress in these
OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study.
- Phase I: Students, family members, teachers, and health providers participate in focus
groups to provide system design and implementation input and to assess overall
acceptability of a prototype Internet-based application for pediatric cancer patients.
- Phase II: Patients are assigned to 1 of 2 groups, based on participating center.
- Group 1: Patients have access to and utilize the Internet-based application
- Group 2: Patients do not have access to or utilize @neWorld. In both groups,
patients complete questionnaires measuring psychological distress, quality of
life, self-esteem, coping behaviors, perceived academic and social competence,
perceived social support, cancer-relevant medical knowledge, feelings of control
over health destiny, utilization of psychological services, and performance in
school at baseline and 3 and 6 months.
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 94 patients (44 for group 1 and 50 for group 2) will be
accrued for this study.
Leap of Faith Technologies
United States: Federal Government
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