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CHESS: Human and Computer Mentors for Prostate Cancer Patients

18 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Prostate Cancer

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Trial Information

CHESS: Human and Computer Mentors for Prostate Cancer Patients

CHESS and Cancer Information Mentoring:

Researchers want to learn the best way to improve a man with prostate cancer's knowledge,
coping skills, and satisfaction with decision-making and overall quality of life. This study
will do this by comparing the following 3 methods of receiving information, social support,
and skill training: using the CHESS system for 6 months, talking to a Cancer Information
Mentor for 6 months, or using the CHESS system and talking to a Cancer Information Mentor
for 6 months.

CHESS is an interactive, internet-based computer program that will provide information,
social support, and skill-building techniques. CHESS provides the latest medical, social,
and legal information about prostate cancer (such as information on symptoms and
treatments). It also provides help in deciding what treatment to choose, advice on where
participants can go for help, information on how participants can make the best use of
health and human services, and a way for participants to share concerns with cancer
information specialists and other survivors of prostate cancer. Participants who take part
in the CHESS interactive services will not need to give their names. Participants can talk
with other people by sending anonymous (your identity will be unknown) messages through the
CHESS computer network.

Cancer Information Mentoring is provided by a person called a "cancer information mentor"
that will give quality prostate cancer information and explain medical information and
procedures. The cancer information mentor is a certified information specialist trained by
the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This mentor will not provide medical advice or mental
health counseling.

Study Groups:

If you agree to take part in this study, you will be randomly assigned (as in the roll of
dice) to 1 of 3 groups. No matter which group you are assigned to, you will be loaned a
computer with internet access to use in your own home (unless you have your own computer and
would prefer to use it). The computer will be sent to your home, and you will be trained on
how to use the computer and the CHESS system.

Participants in Group 1 will have access to the CHESS system. Participants in Group 2 will
talk with a cancer information mentor. Participants in Group 3 will have access to the CHESS
system and talk with a cancer information mentor.

Study Participation:

CHESS Participants in Group 1 and Group 3 who receive the CHESS internet-based program will
have access to information, social support, and skill-building services. The CHESS system
will keep a record of how often and for how long each part of CHESS is used. Information
will also be gathered about anything you communicate in the CHESS interactions. This
information will be used to figure out which parts of CHESS may be most useful. You will be
provided a free 1-800 phone number for computer support if you need any help.

Cancer Information Mentoring:

Patients in Group 2 and Group 3 will have access to a cancer information mentor. The mentor
will make regular telephone calls to the patient during the study. He will receive 10 calls
in total (4 calls the first month, 2 calls the second month, and one call each in Months
3-6). Patients can also call the cancer information mentor whenever they wish during this
period. Each call will last as long as the patient needs it to.

For patients in Group 3, the cancer information mentor will communicate with them through
CHESS as well as by telephone.


All participants will fill out 5 surveys during this study. The surveys will include
questions about health, treatment decisions, knowledge of prostate cancer, and quality of
life. You will complete the first survey before you get the computer and again at 2 weeks, 6
weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after getting the computer. The surveys should take about 30
minutes to finish each time.

Length of Study:

This study will last up to a little over 6 months (about 24 weeks).

Up to 327 men and 327 support persons will take part in this multicenter study. Up to 127
participants and 127 support persons will be enrolled at M. D. Anderson.

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Being within 9 weeks of a primary diagnosis of Stage 1 or Stage 2 prostate cancer

2. Being 18 years of age or older

3. Being able to read and write English at the 6th grade level (as shown by an ability
to understand the informed consent)

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Being under 18 years of age.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Supportive Care

Outcome Measure:

Effect of three study conditions on Quality of Life

Outcome Time Frame:

6 Months

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Cindy Carmack Taylor, PhD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

July 2007

Completion Date:

Related Keywords:

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Quality of Life
  • Cancer Information Mentor
  • the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System
  • Social support
  • Skill-building tools
  • Prostatic Neoplasms



University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center Madison, Wisconsin  53792
Hartford Hospital Hartford, Connecticut  06102-5037
UT MD . Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Texas  77030