AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Most people take it really badly when their physician tells them that they have cancer. Cancer diagnosis can be a traumatic and confusing time for the patients. Many are at a loss as to how to gather information about the condition and find the support to get through the treatment phases. To address these issues, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised electronic communications tools to help patients gather information and find support groups.

health tools E Health Tools For Cancer PatientsThe development of this tool has been underway since the last 3 decades at the Center for Health Systems Research Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their flagship e-Health tool is known as the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS). The communication program had initially started as a DOS based program which could run on personal computers, but now the advanced program runs on smartphones as well. The internet has helped CHESS develop further, and the online discussion forum has become a key feature of CHESS.

More about CHESS

Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS) is a comprehensive consumer health informatics system that has been created for the benefit of cancer patients. Using CHESS, patients can find out expert information, garner emotional support and consult with others before making important decisions regarding treatment. Presently, CHESS contains information such as a resource directory with many factually accurate articles on cancer, discussion groups, expert advice, decision making services to help patients decide on the treatment plan etc. A recent feature added to CHESS is the clinician report feature where the doctor is updated about the health status of the patient as soon as he enters the details in CHESS.

Many randomized trials and population based studies have been carried out to judge the effectiveness of CHESS. It was found that CHESS has helped improve the quality of life for hundreds of patients. CHESS has played a huge role in maintaining emotional balance and improving the quality of life of patients suffering from breast cancer, those infected with HIV and even those having a drug problem. The effectiveness of CHESS has been recognized to the point that it is now being used as a control arm for analyzing new communications interventions.

One would argue that the internet already has a plethora of information on cancer, so why would anyone need yet another tool? The answer to that is that the eHealth tool is self-contained and all the information you will find there are 100% accurate. The internet has a lot of information of course, but some of it may be untrue. Reading untrue and misleading information can cause anxiety and create doubts which have no basis. This was proved when a trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of CHESS. It was observed that anxiety levels patients who had access only to the internet was high, whereas those using CHESS were more aware about their conditions, the different options available, had better social support, less anxiety about their condition and an overall better quality of life.

Since technology and especially the internet have become an indispensible part of our lives, programs such as CHESS prove to be very helpful in providing accurate information. E-health resources are now becoming part of standard care as they have proven to significantly improve the well-being of cancer patients.

Author Bio: Michelle Tyler is a medical writer who writes well-researched, in-depth cancer articles which provide relevant information to help patients combat the deadly disease. Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has been a pioneer in providing best cancer treatment as well as follow up to patients suffering from various cancer types. With branches in Newnan, Philadelphia, Chicago, Tulsa etc., CTCA aims at providing the best treatment options to cancer patients. check for some detailed information.
Image source: 1


Leave a Reply