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Keywords

Chronic illness, Computer-based intervention, Rural, Social support

 

Authors

  1. WEINERT, CLARANN PhD, SC, RN, FAAN
  2. CUDNEY, SHIRLEY MA, RN, GNP
  3. WINTERS, CHARLENE DNSc, APRN, BC

Abstract

The goal of the Women to Women Project (WTW) is to help chronically ill rural women to adapt to their long-term illnesses by providing support and health information via computers. The specific aims are to (1) assess the impact of the computer-based intervention on psychosocial health (self-efficacy, self-esteem, empowerment, social support, stress, depression, loneliness), computer literacy skills, and health knowledge; and (2) analyze the computer exchanges for insights to explicate the complex process of adapting to chronic illness within the rural context. Participants are 240 rural women with a chronic illness who reside in rural areas of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Preliminary data analysis suggests that the intervention is helping to improve the women's ability to adapt to their chronic illnesses. The WTW intervention model has the potential to effectively connect these women in a program of support and education.