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    Awarded Grants
    Web-based Breast Cancer Educational Program in Korea

    Scientific Abstract:
    Web-based Breast Cancer Educational Program in Korea Background: In 2001 breast cancer became the most common site of primary cancer in women of Korea. About 5,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,000 die of breast cancer in a year. About 70 percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer were identified as having stage II or more. Another striking characteristic of breast cancer is the age distribution, having the highest concentration in the 40s. The peak age of breast cancer is 10-15 years younger than that of developed countries. Yet, most women with breast cancer (WBC) in Korea suffer mainly because of lack of information about breast health. High taboos concerning women’s breast cancer exist in Korea and few books are available for WBC. Thus effort should be directed to WBC to mitigate the devastating effects by establishing support systems that allow easy access to information about breast health care. Purpose: The primary goal of this study is to develop and test a web-based educational program for WBC in Korea. Web-based program was chosen not only because Korea has a relatively high percentage of high-speed Web households, such as 11 million households, but also because it still has a high degree of stigma about cancer in general, and breast cancer in particular. Thus a web-based educational program would be very effective and efficient in alleviating devastating effects of breast cancer, and thus improving quality of life of WBC by effectively providing necessary information and counseling. Specific Aims: 1. Assess the needs of WBC in Korea; 2. Construct and develop a web-based educational program based on these needs. The program will include a self-learning program using decision tree model; 3. Recruit randomly selected 20 WBC to verify the program; 4. Identify target population nationwide and disseminate the program; 5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the web-based educational program by comparing knowledge, social support, loneliness, and quality of life between WBC who used the program and those who did not. Potential Outcomes and Benefits of the Research: The outcome of this pilot study will be a high quality website, providing educational and counseling information for WBC in Korea. This web-based educational program would become the basis for a more comprehensive program that will integrate prevention and early-detection of breast cancer to systematically provide better care to women of all ages in Korea.

    Lay Abstract:
    Since 2001 breast cancer has been ranked as the primary cancer in women of Korea. About 70% of those diagnosed with breast cancer are found to be having stage II or more, and result in five-year survival rates mcuh lower than that of developed countries. Another striking characteristic of breast cancer in Korea is the age distribution, showing the most frequent age to be in the 40s, which is estimated to be 10-15 years younger than that of developed countries. Yet, most women with breast cancer (WBC) suffer mainly through lack of information about breast health. Strong taboos concerning women’s breast cancer exist in Korea and few books are available for WBC. Thus effort should be directed to establish support system that allows accessing information of breast health care. In this study, we would like to develop and test a web-based educational program for WBC in Korea. A web-based format was chosen not only because Koreans have high taboo regarding discussion of breast health, but also because Koreans have relatively easy access to high-speed Internet. We first plan to assess the informational needs of WBC, and then develop a web-based program based on these needs. After disseminating the program nationwide, the program will be evaluated by comparing the effect of the program on knowledge, social support, and quality of life between women who used the program and those who did not. An important aspect of this study is that the interdisciplinary approach will bring more valid programs. The principal investigator in nursing and several co-investigators in medicine, specializing in surgery, hematooncology, epidemiology, preventive medicine, and nursing informatics will contribute unique information and knowledge together in developing and implementing effective educational programs. The outcome to this pilot study will be a high quality website, providing educational and counseling information for WBC in Korea. Furthermore it will become the basis for a more comprehensive program that will integrate prevention and early-detection to systematically provide better care to women of all ages.