Cancer Control Research1R13CA099953-01A1
Whitten, Pamela S.
INTERDISCIPLINARY UNDERSTANDING OF ONLINE SERVICES
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Internet has generated cautious enthusiasm about its role as a vehicle to transmit cancer-related information and health services. Healthcare providers and patients are increasingly utilizing the Internet to educate themselves about prevention, treatment options, and upcoming innovations. Some cancer patients and providers are looking to the Internet as a source of care delivery as they seek online prescriptions or alternative medical treatments. As Internet applications and use continue to increase, so does the need to fully understand the potential of this phenomenon. Conventional academic approaches break this phenomenon into discrete pieces for study. Yet, the complex nature of cancer care makes it impossible to fully understand without applying an integrated approach. Online cancer services are no different. Each dimension, ranging from diffusion and utilization to cognitive processing, is interdependent. To gain important insight about online cancer care that will facilitate pragmatic and effective utilization, we must expand our understanding of the relationships among various fields. This proposal seeks to bring together leading scientists from a variety of disciplines for a two-day online cancer services conference. Online cancer services are defined as any service (informational, educational, or clinical) available through the Internet. The overall objective of this meeting is to create an important dialog among cutting-edge Internet researchers from a variety of disciplines to integrate what is currently known about the provision of online cancer services and develop an agenda for future interdisciplinary work. The specific program, "The Search for an Interdisciplinary Understanding of Online Cancer Services," will bring together scientists from a dozen disciplines, each of whom will lead a discussion from his discipline's perspective and ultimately provide a book chapter for a publication to ensue from this meeting. Disciplines proposed for conference participation include: medical outcomes, cognitive and behavioral psychology, economics, health services, health education, communications, information technology/telecommunications, sociology, advertising, public policy, e-commerce (business), media interface design/human factors, and special populations/digital divide. The two-day conference will be held during the last week of January 2004 in Tampa, Florida.